Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022

Amazon India Says Alleged Sale Of Marijuana On Its Platform Will Be Investigated

On Saturday, Bhind Police in Madhya Pradesh arrested two individuals with about 20 kg of contraband. The accused were allegedly operating the racket through a leading e-commerce firm, which received two-thirds of the profits generated.

E-commerce retailer Amazon India on Monday said it is currently investigating the alleged sale of marijuana on its platform. On Saturday, an online marijuana sale racket was busted by the Bhind police in Madhya Pradesh. Two people were arrested and about 20 kg of the contraband was seized. 

The accused were allegedly operating the racket through the leading e-commerce firm,  Amazon, which received two-thirds of the profits generated, as per the official. Evidence is being collected to see if it could be prosecuted for providing a platform for such drug transactions, the official added.

“The issue was notified to us, and we are currently investigating it. We assure full co-operation and support required to Investigating Authorities and Law Enforcement agencies with ongoing investigations to resolve the issue at the earliest,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

Bhind Superintendent of Police, Manoj Kumar Singh said the accused Kallu Pawaiya (30) and Dhaba owner Brijendra Tomar (35) were arrested from Bhind Gwalior Road on Saturday and recovered 20 kilograms of marijuana, based on a tip-off.  

Police informed that Kallu used to source the contraband from Vishakhapatnam through the reputed international e-commerce firm to Gwalior, Bhopal, Kota, Agra and other areas of the country. Brijendra would help him in the business. As per the police, Kallu has so far sold one tonne of the contraband and transacted business worth Rs 1.1 crore. 

 "Kallu ran his company under a fake name with PAN and GST number etc. The e-commerce firm got 66.66 per cent of profit from the illicit business. We are collecting evidence to prosecute the e-commerce company under section 29 (part of criminal conspiracy) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act," Singh had stated.

Traders' body CAIT on Monday said the marijuana racket incident is a serious offence and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) should also take up the serious issue besides the Madhya Pradesh police. CAIT (Confederation of All India Traders) has also urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan to ensure that the issue should not go into the air.

CAIT National President BC Bhartia said police authorities of Madhya Pradesh should take the strictest action against Amazon under the NDPS Act and IPC, and immediately arrest the persons responsible for the operation and management of in India. He added that by selling marijuana worth more than Rs 1 crore and earning a commission of 66 per cent (i.e. over Rs 66 Lakhs) through its e-commerce website, Amazon has contravened Section 20(b) of NDPS Act that says “produces, manufactures, possesses, sells, purchases, transports, imports inter-State, exports inter-State or uses cannabis, shall be punishable”.

They demanded that in addition to the people already arrested by Madhya Pradesh police, they must arrest the senior management of Amazon, who has facilitated the use of its platform for the sale of marijuana and hence, acted as a drug peddler. 

(With inputs from PTI)