Delhi transit point for narcotics
The Asianage (7/30/2006 10:19:51 PM)

New Delhi, July 30: Delhi has become an "important transit point" of narcotics and the Union home ministry attributes it to the capital’s proximity to opium producing states like Uttar Pradesh, and being the centre of the transportation network.

According to the Union home ministry statistics, while 1,140 cases were registered by the Delhi police in 2005, as many as 790 cases have been registered till mid-July this year. Sources in the ministry said 1,808 people were arrested last year while the figure for this year was 1,013 so far. The main recoveries included ganja — 2,907 kg in 2005 and 1,204 kg so far this year, charas — 227 kg last year and 125 kg this year and smack and heroin — 117 kg in 2005 and 69 kg till mid-July, they said. Sources said 108 kg of opium was seized in 2005 but the figure was quite low so far this year at 8.5 kg. Poppy seeds seized in 2005 was 1,205 kg while this year it was 538 kg. The seizures included tablets like Alprex and Esctasy also.

The Union home ministry officials said intelligence inputs received and seizures effected indicated trafficking of heroin into India from across Pakistan border. They said figures regarding seizure of heroin of southwest Asian origin reported by various drug law enforcement agencies during the last three years indicate that there has been an increase in trafficking of heroin from across the Indo-Pak border. They also said West-African nationals, mainly Nigerians, have been found involved in drug trafficking in and out of the country.

According to the Union home ministry officials, a number of steps have been taken to check smuggling and trafficking of narcotics and drugs within the country as well as from across the borders. They said the measures included maintaining a strict surveillance and enforcement at import and export points, land borders, airports and foreign post offices. Improved coordination among various drug law enforcement agencies, intelligence sharing through coordinaton meetings of multi-disciplinary enforcement agencies under various form and strengthening of international liaison to improve the collection, analysis and dissemination of operational intelligence are some other measures. Increased international cooperation for exchange of information and investigative assistance in administering control over the movement of precursor chemicals and building of an electronic data base of offenders are also among the steps to check drug peddling, they said.

The government is also conducting training programmes for law enforcement officials for upgrading their skills to combat drug trafficking. Implementation of a scheme of monetary rewards to informers leading to seizure of narcotics drugs is another important measure.