Odisha: Sand Mafia Busted In Puri, 9 Arrested

**Puri:** In a major breakthrough, Puri district administration officials and Central Electricity Supply Utility busted an illegal sand smuggling racket after a raid here late last night.

The officials got a lead from the numerous electric wires that were being snapped in the area due to mining activities. A CESU Engineer and officials of Baliapanda Electricity Sub Station had lodged a police complaint regarding damaged underground cabling worth Rs 50 lakh due to mining activities, stated reports.

Acting on the lead, the raid was conducted at Baliapanda Sipasarubali area along with officials of CESU and and nine persons were arrested in connection with the case. The nine truck drivers are being further interrogated to gather more information about the matter.

According to reports, a joint team of Puri Sub Collector, CESU’s Executive Engineer, officials of Roads & Buildings (R&B) division, officials of Baliapanda police station and Sea Beach Police Station conducted the surprise raid. 15 trucks, 2 JCB machines and a Haiwa truck engaged in the illegal extraction and transportation of sand were seized from the spot.

Reports stated that Puri Superintendant of Police Sarthak Sarangi has informed that raids will be intensified after the incident.

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