Jaleswar: Despite raids, arrests and seizure of drugs, peddling of the banned stuff has been going on unabated in various parts of Jaleswar block in Balasore district.
The coastal Jaleswar is said to be a hub of brown sugar trade while flesh trade is picking up. Drug peddling here has spread to Cuttack, Berhampur, Puri, Bhubaneswar, Dhenkanal and Angul, thanks to a well-oiled racket.
A report said that brown sugar is also supplied from here to some major cities in South India. A drug mafia is thriving in the area supplying narcotics from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Myanmar via Kolkata. Peddlers in Jaleswar send drugs to various areas through their agents. It is alleged that drugs worth Rs 1 crore are peddled in the area in a single night.
Locals said raids and arrests are being made occasionally by the excise and police officials, but drug peddling has not been curbed fully in the area. Rather, drug peddlers have been pushing and spreading their network.
Intelligence squad of Cuttack and the excise department had conducted raids in Jaleswar area in the past and seized huge quantities of brown sugar.
Apart from drug peddling, Jaleswar has become a safe haven for flesh trade. It is alleged that girls are brought from Kolkata, Nepal, Manipur, and Bangladesh and accommodated in lodges and hotels and even in private homes in Jaleswar. Locals were upset over such activities with youths going astray.
State excise commissioner Debendra Mohapatra said his department is well aware of drug peddling in Jaleswar.
“The officials have conducted raids in the area in the past and seized brown sugar worth lakhs of rupees on the basis of intelligence input,” he added.
Superintendent of Police Jugal Kishor Kumar Banoth said Jaleswar police have been alerted to crack down on drug peddling.