Global giant Amazon is in the limelight once again, this time for alleged smuggling of marijuana through the e-commerce network. The Madhya Pradesh police have issued a 20-point notice to the American company as part of their investigation.
A few days ago, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Narottam Mishra had raised concerns over ganja consignments being delivered through Amazon and non-cooperation with the investigation. “There are no guidelines for online businesses. We’ll make guidelines for MP. Amazon was called but they are not cooperating. We will bring them, I appeal to Amazon’s MD-CEO to cooperate or else we’ll initiate action.”
Bhindi police Manoj Singh told ToI that Amazon was not cooperating with the probe at all. “The company is earning hugely from this country and they have a social responsibility towards citizens. We had sent our team to their offices but nothing much happened. They are shifting the onus. We have emailed notices to the authorities concerned,” he said.
Singh had earlier said Amazon has the power of artificial intelligence – so it’s a big thing happening on its platform. “There is involvement of Amazon at many levels in this marijuana delivery, from providing logistical support to delivery.”
However, Amazon India has denied the allegations of non-cooperation. A spokesperson for Amazon India told ToI that the platform extends full cooperation to law enforcement agencies, and even in the present marijuana case, the company has remained committed to the investigation. “Amazon officials have held several rounds of discussions with MP Police since the issue was first notified to us. We are in the process of gathering relevant information, as requested by the local investigating authorities, and are well on course to submitting them within the stipulated deadline.”
Last Sunday, the police arrested two men in Madhya Pradesh with 20kg of marijuana and found they were using Amazon’s India shopping website to order and smuggle the substance further to various states. Reuters report stated that the drug was listed under the guise of dry stevia leaves, a natural food sweetner. Police in its statement said the Amazon platform was alleged used for 1,000 kilograms of such marijuana sales so far, worth $148,000.
Amazon in India operates a marketplace website where sellers can list their products and the e-commerce giant also provides logistics and warehouse servicing to them.