Global e-commerce giant Amazon's executives in India were booked as 'accused in the case pertaining to the alleged sale of marijuana via its platform. The executives have been booked under Section 38 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), 1985. The development came a day after Union Cabinet Minister Narottam Mishra voiced his concern on the alleged sale of marijuana on the platform.
In an official statement, the Bhind police stated that there was a contradiction in the replies of the Amazon executives and the evidence collected by them.
Amazon India's spokesperson told Outlook Business that the company would extend full cooperation and support to the investigating agencies and ensure compliance to all applicable laws. "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 issue was notified to us and we are currently investigating it," the spokesperson stated.
The spokesperson added that the company has a high bar on compliance and contractually the sellers on the platform are required to comply with all applicable laws in order to continue being listed on the platform.
Last week, Bhind police busted an online marijuana sale racket in Madhya Pradesh. Two people were arrested and about 20 kg of the contraband was seized. E-commerce retailer Amazon India had stated that it was investigating the alleged sale of marijuana on its platform.
The accused were allegedly operating the racket through the leading e-commerce firm, Amazon, which received two-thirds of the profits generated, as per the official. Evidence is being collected to see if it could be prosecuted for providing a platform for such drug transactions, the official added. “The issue was notified to us, and we are currently investigating it. We assure full co-operation and support required to Investigating Authorities and Law Enforcement agencies with ongoing investigations to resolve the issue at the earliest,” an Amazon spokesperson had stated.
Bhind Superintendent of Police, Manoj Kumar Singh said the accused Kallu Pawaiya (30) and Dhaba owner Brijendra Tomar (35) were arrested from Bhind Gwalior Road on Saturday and recovered 20 kilograms of marijuana, based on a tip-off.
Police informed that Kallu used to source the contraband from Vishakhapatnam through the reputed international e-commerce firm to Gwalior, Bhopal, Kota, Agra and other areas of the country. Brijendra would help him in the business. As per the police, Kallu has so far sold one tonne of the contraband and transacted business worth Rs 1.1 crore.
Confederation of All India Traders, which is an apex community of traders from all across the country, welcomed the move. They said, "The traders across the Country appreciate the firmness of MP Police in this matter and have complimented MP CM Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan and MP Home Minister Dr Narottam Mishra for the efficiency of police system in MP."
They had demanded the immediate arrest of the executives involved in the racket and strictest action against the accused under the NDPS Act.