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ROLLING IN THE DEEP

Amazon is allegedly being used to smuggle marijuana in India

REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo
Delivering what?
  • Niharika Sharma
By Niharika Sharma

Reporter

Published

Amazon has landed in trouble in India.

The police in the state of Madhya Pradesh yesterday (Nov. 15) summoned local executives of the retail giant following allegations that the platform was being used to smuggle marijuana, news agency Reuters reported.

The incident came to the light after two persons were arrested on Nov. 14 with 20 kilograms of the contraband item. The duo was using Amazon India’s platform to order and smuggle it across various Indian states, the police have alleged.

While Marijuana is banned in India, on Amazon it was reportedly being sold as dry stevia leaves, a natural food sweetener. The police claimed that around 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, worth $148,000 have been sold on the e-commerce platform.

“The international company has the power of artificial intelligence, so it’s a big thing happening on their platform,” Manoj Singh, a senior police official told Reuters. “There is the involvement of Amazon at many levels in this marijuana delivery, from providing logistical support to delivery.”

An Amazon spokesperson has told Reuters that the company was investigating if “there was any non-compliance by a seller.”

“We do not allow the listing and sale of products which are prohibited under law to be sold in India,” the company’s statement said, adding that it will cooperate with authorities.

Amazon India has more than a million small and mid-sized businesses working with it in the country. These include sellers, delivery and logistics partners, neighbourhood stores, enterprises, developers, content creators and authors.

Meanwhile, the autonomous traders’ body, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), has demanded that the Narcotics Control Bureau probe Amazon.

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