As the coastal district of Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu witnessed a spurt in smuggling of drugs to Sri Lanka via the sea route, the district police have constituted “D-Team”, an exclusive police team to mount surveillance on drug traffickers and contain the smuggling activities.
Announcing the formation of the special team, Superintendent of Police N.M. Mylvahanan said the five-member team, headed by a Sub Inspector of Police, would work round the clock, collecting intelligence on drug trafficking after mounting surveillance on drug traffickers, who had been arrested in last three years in the district.
The ‘D-Team’ formed on the lines of ‘C Branch’ to deal with crime offenders would monitor the movements of the drug traffickers and function directly under the control of Special Branch police, which, in turn, would come under his direct control, the SP told The Hindu .
As the smugglers used the islets in the Gulf of Mannar region as transit points before they smuggled the contraband to Sri Lanka, it has been decided to launch joint inspections in the islets in coordination with the Forest department, Coastal Security Group, Q branch and Fisheries department, the SP said.
The coastal security meeting, chaired by Collector K. Nanthakumar decided to launch the inspections next week, the SP said and urged the general public to alert the police about the smuggling activities by calling the ‘Hello Police’ at 83000 31100’.
The details of the callers would be kept secret and those who provide vital information would be rewarded, the SP said.
The formation of ‘D-Team’ assumed significance as the district police had registered 24 drug trafficking cases during the last six months and arrested 36 smugglers, police said.
After the coastal Mandapam, Verkodu, Thriupullani and Uthirakosamangai check-posts were alerted, there has been considerable reduction in smuggling of drugs through the sea route to the sea shores, the SP said.
After alerting the check-posts, the police had last month impounded a lorry, used for smuggling ganja in Erwadi, police added.