Hyderabad: Rachakonda police busted a two-member opium supply racket, which was being operated out of Kandukur on the city outskirts, and seized 390 kg of opium straw worth Rs 20 lakhs on Friday. The culprits were cultivating opium poppy on two acres of land.
As much as 390 kgs of illegally cultivated opium poppy straw, valued at Rs 20 lakh and meant for sale in Karnataka was confiscated on Thursday in Telangana's Ranga Reddy district, and two people were arrested, police said on Friday.
The police arrested a farmer named Dandupally Chennakeshavulu, who was involved in opium cultivation. The main accused Dhimmir Venkataramana, who hails from the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, was arrested by the Special Enforcement Bureau of Andhra Pradesh earlier.
The arrested have been identified as D. Chennakeshavulu (45) of Anantapur district, and D. Venkataramana (43) of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh. While Chennakeshavulu was arrested on charges of illegal cultivation of poppy, Venkataramana was arrested for allegedly supplying poppy seeds to him.
Based on a tip-off, Rachakonda police raided Lemur village under Kandukur police limits and found that Chennakeshavulu was cultivating opium poppy with the help of Venkataramana.
Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat on Friday said that the duo was planning to sell the contraband to customers near Bengaluru.
According to the police, Chennakeshavulu had leased agricultural land in Lemur village, from Buchi Reddy and then on the advice of Venkataramana, began cultivating poppy in the last three months.
He has been cultivating opium poppy for the past three months in the 2-acre field, which he had taken on lease, said police. Opium poppy straw and other material, all worth Rs 20 lakh, was seized in the raid.
The accused have been booked under the NDPS Act and sent to judicial custody to be remanded by a court.