India Police Charge Amazon Executives in Marijuana Smuggling Case

According to police in Madhya Pradesh, a central Indian state, executive directors of Amazon India have charged in connection with the suspected use of the e-commerce marketplace to smuggle marijuana into the South Asian market. The authorities did not say how many senior officials they had prosecuted, but they did say they identified inconsistencies in Amazon India’s response to an ongoing inquiry. According to the state police, unnamed Amazon India officials have arrested for violating the country’s drugs laws.

Last Monday, authorities in Madhya Pradesh caught two individuals in possession of 20 kg (44 pounds) of marijuana, alleging that the men were smuggling the drug through the Amazon India website. Amazon claimed it was helping with the authorities in the probe last week and again today. The Indian state’s home minister, Narottam Mishra, raised worry on Friday about the suspected exploitation of Amazon’s marketplace in India, and said that Amazon was refusing to cooperate in the investigation.

“Amazon was contacted, but they refused to cooperate. We will bring them with us. “I’m pleading with Amazon’s MD-CEO to comply, or we’ll take action,” Mishra stated.

According to an Amazon India spokesperson, the firm maintains a “high bar on compliance,” and “contractually, our sellers are expected to comply with all applicable regulations in order to offer their items on amazon.in.” We do not allow the listing or sale of things that are illegal to sell in India under Indian law.” “However, if merchants offer such things, as an intermediary, we take rigorous action as required by law when it is brought to our attention.” We have alerted of the problem, and we are looking into it right now. We guarantee Investigating Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies of our complete cooperation and support in current investigations, as well as full compliance with all relevant laws,” the statement continued.

India is one of Amazon’s most important international markets. The American e-commerce behemoth has poured over $6.5 billion into its Indian operations. The corporation is now under investigation in India for antitrust violations and is involved in a contentious multibillion-dollar merger with Future Retail and Reliance Retail, two of the country’s largest retail chains.

The problems for the world’s largest e-commerce company do not stop there. A whistleblower from the company’s India unit claimed in September that the company’s legal staff had paid government officials. Amazon said that it was looking into the allegations. Amazon made an unusual apology to consumers in India earlier this year after complaints that a few sequences in a Prime Video nine-part drama offended religious feelings.