- Ezrela Dalidia Fanai, NET Correspondent, Mizoram
In a major operation against drug menace, the Champhai Deputy Commissioner (DC) Maria CT Zuali recently seized a large stash of areca nuts from Kelkang stretch – 19 kms away from Champhai district.
According to police reports, a total of 150 bags of areca nuts were seized by the DC & her team, illegally brought-in from the neighbouring country Myanmar.
These bags of areca nuts were transported through 9 trucks which have been inspected for illegal items.
The Deputy Commissioner managed to stop 7 trucks, while the other trucks managed to escape.
According to officials, these bags costing worth approximately 42 lakhs were unloaded from the truck, which were later torched by unknown miscreants.
After inspection of tax invoice of the areca nuts by Champhai DC and other officials, it was found that the 180 bags of these substances were calculated at Rs. 20/kg, while the rate in markets, for instance – Vairengte is Rs. 295/kg.
Although the total cost value of these areca nuts in international markets stood at Rs 42 lakhs, but only 3 lakhs were marked as invoice. This means that only Rs 7,200 shall be given as tax.
Identified as Lalhruaitluangi – a Chaltlang resident in Aizawl filed a First Information Report (FIR) against the Champhai DC under IPC Sec 427 (mischief causing damage) IPC Sec 435 (mischief caused by fire) IPC Sec 341 (wrongful restraint).
In connection to such incidents, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mahila Morcha has issued a statement in support of Champhai DC Maria CT Zuali.
They lauded the Champhai DC for following the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), and halting the smuggling of areca.nuts from Myanmar.
BJP Mizoram Pradesh Mahila President Lalremsangi Fanai asserted that their party will continue to support Maria CT Zuali.
Its worthy to note that Social Activist Pi Vanramchhuangi has submitted a Memorandum to PM Narendra Modi and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga regarding the negative impacts of illegal smuggling of areca nuts.
Responding to the same, the Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga called an emergency meeting to curb such illegal transportation.
However, from December 14-16, over 100 trucks carrying such illegal substances were found plying through the normal highways, which usually run through other routes.