The Madhya Pradesh Police have busted a drug peddlers' racket, which was involved in allegedly selling Marijuana leaves under the guise of stevia leaves on the Amazon e-commerce platform, the Bhind Police said.
The police, as per a statement from the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), has said the accused, Suraj Pawaiya and Vijendra Singh Tomar, have been arrested. They allegedly sold 390 packets of marijuana via Amazon's marketplace for the inter-state movement of 1,000 kg of illegal substance.
Manoj Kumar Singh, Bhind Superintendent Police, in a press conference said the police, which found Amazon's packaging material in the possession of the drug-peddlers, have also served a notice to the company over the accusations.
An Amazon spokesperson said the issue was notified to the company and that it is investigating it. "Amazon operates a marketplace in India (amazon.in), which enables third-party sellers to display, list and offer for sale, products to end-customers directly. Amazon has a high bar on compliance and contractually our sellers are required to comply with all applicable laws for selling their products on amazon.in. We do not allow the listing and sale of products, which are prohibited under law to be sold in India. However, in case sellers list such products, as an intermediary, we take strict action as may be required under the law, when the same is highlighted to us," the e-tailer said.
It said the company is investigating if there was any non-compliance on part of the seller. "We assure full co-operation and support required to investigating authorities and law enforcement agencies, with ongoing investigations and ensure full compliance to applicable laws," the Spokesperson added.
Traders' body CAIT (Confederation of All India Traders) General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal told BusinessToday.In that a trader had complained to the police following which a search was conducted at the Amazon warehouse in Gwalior.
CAIT, which is entangled in many legal battles with e-commerce companies, has sought an inquiry by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) into the matter.
"By selling the Marijuana worth more than Rs 1 crore and earning a commission of 66 per cent (i.e. over Rs 66 lakh) 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"," a joint statement by Khandelwal and CAIT National President BC Bhartia said.
They said the law must take its course as was "applied by the NCB against Aaryan Khan". They said: "Amazon has not only allowed the use of its platform for the sale of commercial quantity of the banned drug but has actively participated in the sale and earned huge profit to the tune of 66 per cent of the sale value. Amazon and its top management should be punished under Section 20(ii)(c).
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