Sinlung /
27 June 2013

Delhi Transit Hub in Narcotics Corridor

By Dwaipayan Ghosh

New Delhi, Jun 27
: Data released by Narcotics Control Bureau on International Day Against Drug Abuse has once again shown how Delhi is rapidly emerging as a transit point of high-end drugs smuggled by international cartels.

While the capital lags behind other states in use of ganja and opium, it ranks high in consumption of party drugs such as ketamine and cocaine. Maharashtra is the top consumer of party drugs, according to this data. Between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013, a total of 143.43kg ketamine has been seized in Delhi compared to Maharashtra (2,170kg) and Tamil Nadu (596kg). Ketamine is produced illegally in the latter states for supply to southeast Asian countries. The fact that Delhi ranks three on the list when it is not even a major producer indicates it is a transit point. Police said this is due to its unique location between producers Afghanistan and Commonwealth of Independent States nations and consumers in southeast Asia.

According to top officers in the narcotics wing and NCB officials, pseudoephedrine—used to make party drugs like 'Speed' and 'Ecstasy'—is a good example of a transit drug. The total seizure of pseudoephedrine in the past one year in north, east and northeast India have been more than 4,500kg.

The figures also include a cocaine haul of 5,429kg and 180kg heroin. The cocaine circuit is dominated by African cartels who also engage in heroin trade. But most of the heroin seized in the capital are of southwest Asian origin and enters India through Pakistan border, says an NCB study.

Security agencies have long believed that some of the money in this trade is actually a portion of narcoterrorism wherein profits from selling this drug is used to fund terror activities. A total of 612.08kg hashish, 955.58kg ganja and 233.42kg opium were also seized from the capital in this one year. A new item on the list is ATS (amphetamine-type stimulants). Over 6.5kg ATS was seized in the city vis-a-vis Maharashtra (40kg).

"It is believed that, due to establishment of special ATS labs, some foreign operatives are using the country's huge chemical base to source raw materials and produce such drugs. Drug hauls on Delhi-Manipur route show they are being trafficked to Myanmar," the NCB noted.

"Recent seizures of Kolkata-bound consignments in eastern and northern India indicate that the mafia is using West Bengal's ports to smuggle banned drugs to South America. A group of pharmaceutical companies are handing out stocks from Uttarakhand. This is then brought to Delhi en route to northeast, Myanmar and Thailand. The processing is completed in factories there before the drugs are pushed backed to India. While a portion returns to party circles in Delhi and Mumbai, the rest is shipped out to Colombia and Uruguay where these drugs are in high demand," said an NCB official.

NCB also asked agencies to crack down on abuse of prescription drugs with the smuggling of codeine-based Phensedyl increasing across borders.

Due to setting up of special ATS labs, foreign operatives are using the country's huge chemical base to produce such drugs, the NCB noted.


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