Bhind police said its counterpart in Visakhapatnam allegedly recovered 48 kg of marijuana from Amazon workers in a fresh investigation following initial recovery of the banned drug in the state of Madhya Pradesh. On receiving a tip from the Bhind police, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Visakhapatnam found two persons, who were said to be Amazon delivery workers with marijuana. The State Department also recovered packaging material from Amazon, which was allegedly used to transport the drug. The latest development comes after Bhind police allegedly charged Amazon executives under narcotics laws in connection with alleged marijuana smuggling through the online marketplace.
[Update, November 22, 10pm: Amazon refuted the reports and stated that: “Reports that Amazon executives have been arrested or charged as part of this case are incorrect and we are not aware of any Amazon executives being named in the investigation. On the contrary, Amazon continues to assist with the investigation. There are media reports of third party delivery contractors being investigated, but we cannot confirm these reports.” Amazon’s statement is copied in full below.]
On Saturday, Visakhapatnam police arrested an accused heroine The aide, Chilakapati Srinivasa Rao, 48, in the city, along with two other delivery workers, all of whom were allegedly smuggling marijuana. Bhind police, which tipped the ACB department in Visakhapatnam in a press note issued on Monday, said the accused were found with an electronic weighing machine and the medicine along with packaging material from Amazon.
According to the FIR registered by the police, the accused had two sacks, each containing 24 kg of marijuana, a copy of which is with Gadgets 360.
Separately, the Madhya Pradesh Police has recovered a fresh consignment of 17 kg of marijuana, which is said to have come from Amazon affiliates, for which an FIR has been registered at the Mehgaon police station in Madhya Pradesh. Last week, there were two men Arrested For using Amazon to order and smuggle medicine to Bhind. The executive director of Amazon Seller Services – a subsidiary of the US e-commerce giant – was later charged Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 for alleged trafficking.
Traders Body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has called on the government to suspend Amazon’s operations in the country and arrest its executives for allowing marijuana trade. The body has also urged the authorities to register a case of sedition against the e-commerce company.
CAIT national president BC Bhartia and general secretary Praveen Khandelwal called Amazon a “hemp company”. Hemp Marijuana has Hindi name.
On Sunday, CAIT also claimed that in 2019, Amazon was used for sourcing chemicals for the bombs, which resulted in the Pulwama terror attack. It alleged that ammonium nitrate, among other ingredients, was procured through online marketplaces to prepare improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for the attack.
Amazon’s full statement to Gadgets 360:
“Reports that Amazon executives have been arrested or charged as part of this case and we are not aware of the names of any Amazon officials involved in the investigation. To the contrary, Amazon continues to assist with the investigation. There are reports in the media that third party delivery contractors are being investigated, but we cannot confirm these reports.
Amazon, in accordance with Company Policy, provides full cooperation to law enforcement agencies in the event of any bad actor operating on the Amazon.in Marketplace. We have shared and will continue to share the information law enforcement needs in investigating this matter. Amazon has zero-tolerance for misconduct and takes strict action against individuals or third-parties for violation of our policies or applicable laws. Amazon.in is a third-party marketplace (intermediary) where sellers offer their products directly to customers. Sellers acting on the Amazon.in Marketplace contractually as well as delivery partners, service providers and their affiliates are required to comply with all applicable laws.”