Ganja worth over Rs 13 lakh was seized in Maharashtra’s Nagpur from a car that was being driven by a man, who lost his job as a dance teacher in a Hyderbad-based school due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, police said on Sunday.
The man, Shivshankar Yallaya Isampalli (27), a resident of Kukatpalli in Hyderabad, told the police that he was driving the car for livelihood as he was unemployed, but had no knowledge that there was drug in the vehicle, they said.
“Beltarodi police had received a tip-off that ganja is being smuggled in a car, following which a nakabandi was put in place on Wardha Road and the car was stopped at 9 am on Sunday,” a police official said.
“During the vehicle checking, police recovered 91 kg of ganja stuffed in four plastic sacks. Shivshankar was detained and ganja worth Rs 13.73 lakh, the car, Rs 1,200 cash and a mobile phone were seized,” he said.
The car was going to Delhi from Hyderabad, he added.
“During the interrogation, Shivshankar told the police that he used to work as a dance teacher in a Hyderabad school, but lost his job due to the coronavirus lockdown last year.
Another teacher from the school promised to pay him Rs 10,000 for driving the car to Delhi and he agreed for the task as he was unemployed,” the official said.
The accused, who has been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act, told the investigators that he was unaware of what he was transporting in the car, although the police do not believe his version, he added.
Police are collecting information about the teacher, who had asked him to drive the car to Delhi.
“A team will leave for Hyderabad to arrest the teacher who had given the car to Shivshankar,” the official said, adding that there could be a large network of smugglers in the case.