Punjab, J&K emerge as centres of contraband drugs smuggling

A record seizure of contraband like heroin, opium and cocaine has set the alarm bells ringing among enforcement agencies. According to the latest figures available with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Punjab has emerged as the centre of activity for smuggling of drugs followed by Jammu and Kashmir. Mumbai and Delhi are the transit points for transporting drugs to foreign destinations, said officials.

This year, the NCB has seized 221.20 kg of heroin as compared to 54.28 kg last year till October 31. Apart from Punjab and J&K, the states which are used for drug smuggling are MP, Haryana, Rajasthan and UP. Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad remain the hub of party drugs like cocaine, ephedrine and amphetamine. It was in Mumbai that the NCB seized 29 kg of cocaine in February this year and arrested three foreign nationals. As many as 60 cases were registered by the NCB this year while 44 cases were registered last year.

However, other agencies registered a decline in seizure of heroin where only 1,101 cases were registered across India as compared to 2,421 cases last year. Delhi and Mumbai are the favoured destinations for drug parcels in India.

"Drugs like heroin, hashish and ganja are being shipped to Europe, North America and South America while ketamine, ephedrine are destined to south-east Asian countries," said a top NCB official.

The number of arrests by NCB has also gone down as compared to last year. While more than 9,500 persons were arrested last year in various seizures of ganja, hashish and heroin, only 5,781 persons were arrested by the agency this year.

Sleuths say the decline in number of arrests does not reflect any trend as they have managed to catch huge consignments which originated from across the border.

Investigators also discovered that heroin is trafficked from Myanmar to India in small quantities and is mainly for consumption in Northeastern states. From the analysis of the data, the NCB found that heroin of south-west origin is smuggled into India mainly through the India-Pakistan border. It is further smuggled to western destinations by the west African syndicates operating in India.

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