Five involved in betel leaf trade netted, one freed on bail

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 6th Apr: Five individuals, who were involved in the airlifting of betel leaves on April 4, have been arrested while all but one the accused persons have been sent to judicial custody till April 18.
The five have been identified as Laishram Anil alias Chara (27) son of L Bino of Changangei Mayai Leikai, Chingakham Surchandra (24) son of Ningthoujao of Tairenpokpi Awang Leikai, Irengbam Surjit (40) son of late Nabakumar of Changangei Mayai Leikai, Laishram Sanangamba (26) son of Ingobi of Changangei Maning Leikai and Thingujam Kamo (48) son of Tomba of Yumnam Huidrom.
The consignment was sent to Kamo. He was arrested Monday afternoon and produced before the duty magistrate Imphal West but released after he furnished PR bond of Rs 50,000 and surety of the same amount.
The four others were rounded up by teams of Singjamei police station on Sunday and produced before the court of duty magistrate, Imphal West, who is also the JMIC of Imphal West.
As per the investigating officer inspector K Bobbi, Singjamei PS received a formal report from Airport police station OC Tikendrajit that huge consignments of betel leaves were seized by police led by additional SP (LO) Imphal West, SDPO Singjamei and personnel of the Airport PS on Saturday around 12 noon.
During investigation, it was found that the betel leaves were sent to one Thingujam Kamo (48) son of Tomba of Yumnam Huidrom. Kamo’s partner Laishram Anil came to collect the consignment. The IO’s report stated that an order issued by chief secretary, Manipur on March 23 had restricted transportation of non-essential items. Upon investigation, it was found that the traders did not seek approval from the government for transporting the consignment. The betel leaves were brought in 207 sacks. The seized consignment in police custody can only be claimed after seeking approval from the DC concerned, the report mentioned.
It further stated that Anil disclosed during questioning that he had taken out some sacks of betel leaves before the consignment were seized. Following his disclosure, police recovered 53 sacks from a warehouse that belongs to one Sapam Tomba after which Anil and Surjit were formally arrested. During further investigation, police arrested Surchandra and Sanangamba along with some unboxed sacks of betel leaves and seized two Maruti vans used in transporting the consignment.
The duty magistrate on Sunday night granted them bail on execution of PR Bond of Rs 50,000 and surety of the same amount. On Monday, they were sent to judicial custody till April 18 as they could


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