Nearly 700 kg of cannabis was seized in Varanasi and two members of an inter-state drug trafficking gang were arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh police, officials said on Tuesday.
The seizure was made on National Highway 2 when a container truck loaded with the cannabis was intercepted in Rohaniya police station area after a tip-off on Monday, the officials said.
The action was carried out by officials of the Varanasi field unit of the STF and Narcotics Control Bureau, Lucknow, they said.
"The STF was getting inputs on an inter-state drug trafficking gang which was operational in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, among other states and spreading illegal trade in UP also," a Task Force official said.
Working on the information, we were tipped off about a cannabis-laden container truck, moving from Odisha to UP via Bihar, which was intercepted and a huge recovery of 697 kg cannabis made, the official said.
The estimated worth of the seized cannabis in the black market is Rs 35 lakh, he added.
According to the official, the cannabis was procured from Ganjam district of Odisha and was supposed to reach Prayagraj, while the truck belonged to a man in Bihar's Patna.
The two accused arrested from the truck were identified as Lallan Singh and Ajit Kumar Yadav, both natives of Vaishali district in Bihar, the official said.
"They were booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. A case has been registered against them in Lucknow. During initial probe, they told investigators that they would get Rs 20,000 for each trip and that is how they got lured into this work," he added.