Bengaluru: The Bengaluru Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials, who have been busting drug rackets in and around the city, have arrested a person on March 25 and seized 15 kilos of ganja worth Rs 7 lakh.

According to senior police officials attached to the CCB, the arrested person is identified as Ezra Mali, 40, from Odisha.

"The accused was arrested near Adugodi bus stand when he tried to sell ganja.  He had packed gaanja in a plastic bag and stashed it in a gunny bag. Upon investigation, he has revealed that he used to get this from villages near Odisha and used buses to transport these items and used Odisha, Andhra route to gain entry into Karnataka," said an official.

The accused had moved to Karnataka 30 years ago and settled in Malavali taluk. He worked as a driver for a private bus and used to frequently visit his native place. The police are of the view that knowing Odisha well, Mali might have been involved in selling ganja from a long time. The police are investigating.

In the past as well, many smugglers of ganja use the same modus operandi. The smugglers use local buses from their villages in Odisha to travel to Andhra Pradesh border and hop on to another bus. They come to Ananthpur or Hindupur and from there take local buses that operate between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh’s bordering districts.

"Our officials have been asked to keep an eye on private bus operators and check these routes regularly to stop the entry of ganja into Karnataka. The accused person has told us that once the consignment reaches Bengaluru, it is taken into slums. Small packets that can carry about 100 grams are used to put ganja and then distributed. The same will be sold near colleges and workplaces," said a police officer.

Earlier on March 1, based on the tip off, the Nandini Layout Police raided a house at Lakshmidevinagar and Coolinagar in their jurisdiction and arrested six persons for trying to sell drugs.

The police found 11 kilos of ganja. The arrested were Srinivas, Bernard Raj, Sangeeth Kumar, Satish, Byregowda and Narayan, all from Bengaluru and known as habitual offenders. Now, the police are trying to know whether accused Mali has any links with these people.