Police charge Amazon executives under narcotics law for smuggling marijuana on the platform

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Police charge Amazon executives under narcotics law for smuggling marijuana on the platform
Photo by Yender Gonzalez on Unsplash
  • Madhya Pradesh police have charged Amazon executives for smuggling of marijuana via the e-commerce portal.
  • The police uncovered the smuggling operation after arresting two men with 20kg marijuana earlier this month.
  • The marijuana was sold via Amazon India website, disguised as stevia leaves.
Madhya Pradesh police have charged some senior executives of Amazon Indian’s local unit under the narcotics law after it uncovered a marijuana smuggling operation taking place on the e-commerce platform.

Earlier on November 14, the police had arrested two men with 20 kg of marijuana and found that they used Amazon India to order it and then further smuggle it to other states. According to a report, the vendors of illegal marijuana sold the substance disguised as stevia leaves, a natural sweetener, on Amazon’s e-commerce portal.

According to the police, the vendors have already smuggled approximately 1,000kg of the banned substance, worth ₹1.1 crore via Amazon’s site. The police said in a statement that Executive Directors of Amazon India were being named as accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act due to the difference in answers. The police claim that the documents provided by the company are factually different from what the police have uncovered.

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However, the police has not disclosed how many Amazon India executives it has charged. Manoj Singh, a senior police official, has said that since Amazon has the power of Artificial Intelligence, the drugs could not be by-passed through the system without the involvement of its executives. He added that Amazon India was involved at many levels in the smuggling of the banned marijuana, from providing logistical support to delivery.

Amazon said in a statement that it does not allow listing and sale of illegal products and that it was investigating the matter. In recent times, the Indian authorities have become stringent and are cracking down on illegal drugs.

When we contacted Amazon to share details regarding the marijuana smuggling operation through their website, Amazon responded with a statement, “Reports that Amazon executives have been arrested or charged as part of this case are incorrect and we are not aware of any Amazon executives being named in the investigation. On the contrary, Amazon continues to assist with the investigation. There are media reports of third party delivery contractors being investigated, but we cannot confirm these reports.

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Amazon, as a matter of company policy, extends full cooperation to law enforcement agencies in the event of any bad actor operating on the Amazon.in marketplace. We have shared, and will continue to share information that law enforcement needs in their investigation of this case. Amazon has zero-tolerance for misconduct and takes strict action against individuals or third-parties for violation of our policies or applicable laws. Amazon.in is a third-party marketplace (intermediary) where sellers offer their products to customers directly. Contractually, sellers operating on the Amazon.in marketplace, as well as delivery partners, service providers and their associates, are required to comply with all applicable laws.”

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