Guwahati, Feb 26 : Large quantities of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride (PH) drugs are being smuggled into Myanmar from India to make heroin, WY (world is yours) and other party drugs in the infamous "golden triangle".
The joint director of Manipur AIDS Control Society (MACS), Abhiram Mongjam, said, "PH drugs are not consumed in Manipur. They are used as one of the ingredients for making heroin."
Over 40,000 people in Manipur are HIV positive and the majority of them are infected with the virus because of sharing needles while injecting drugs. L Deepak, president of the Manipur Network of Positive People, said smuggling of tablets containing these drugs to different Southeast Asian countries help drug lords flourish in their trade.
Deepak explained the same drug returns to Manipur in the form of heroin. This has lead to an increase in substance abuse and cases of HIV and AIDS are on the rise. Since the late Eighties, smugglers have used the Manipur route to reach Indian cities. "We have almost checked the spread of HIV and are now combating transmission through sexual contacts. We are now getting to hear about PH drugs being smuggled into Myanmar. But the fact is they are returning in the form of heroin. Besides heroin, other drugs are also being smuggled into Manipur," said Deepak.
WY is popular in SE Asia and also consumed by goldmine workers as it enables them to work for longer periods. "It is also popular among party animals. They can go on partying for hours," said Deepak.
Pseudoephedrine is used as a nasal and sinus decongestant. Since it is a stimulant, athletes, miners and long-distance truck drivers use it to enhance their performance and alertness. It is among the banned substances listed by IOC and WADA. Many countries have also banned it. It is also listed in the United Nations Convention against Illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.