In a joint operation, Excise sleuths and Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel foiled an attempt to smuggle in banned tobacco products by train and seized contraband worth ₹80, 000 from the Ernakulam North railway station premises on Sunday.
A Bihar native, Shankar Kumar, 19, was arrested in connection with the seizure, and case under COPTA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003) Act was lodged.
According to officials, the contraband contained several varieties of banned tobacco products like Hans and Pan Parag, which were being smuggled in from Bihar via train for distribution among migrant labourers.
“The tobacco products were kept at the station to be handed over to the local distributor,” said Excise Circle Inspector T.S. Sasi Kumar.
According to him, enforcement agencies have specific information on the operation of rackets in States like Bihar and West Bengal. They are engaged in transporting banned tobacco products, cheap quality ganja and psychotropic drugs to Kerala. Such products are distributed mainly among migrant labourers in places like Perumbavoor which is said to be the hub of migrant workers in the State.
The carriers of the rackets, who bring in the contraband, often exit railway station premises through unauthorised exit points after staying at the platform for a long time to evade police surveillance.
Courtesy: The Hindu