Increase in drug seizure hikes its prices
A rise in narcotic drugs seizure doesn't only mean an increased demand but also a hike in drug prices.
The increased seizures in the last 17 months by the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) has also led to a jump in its price to almost three times the price from the original. "The price has increased with the increasing seizures. In the last one and a half years it has gone up by about three times," said Sunil Paraskar, deputy commissioner of police, ANC.
Statistics of the ANC and police say, the approximate value of a kg of hashish (charas) in February 2008 was Rs30,000 which is now Rs70,000 - more than twice the price.
The prices have shot up because the increased seizures also mean increased security. "This makes the job a high-risk one. Thus, carriers and other middlemen have to pay more," said Paraskar. "It's a simple demand-supply formula. There is an increased demand plus increased risk. The producer decides the price on the basis of payment of the carrier, transport costs, unexpected arrests, cost of trial and so on," said Paraskar.
ANC officers said while increased seizures is not a sign of increased intake; there can be no disputing that the consumption has gone up as well.
"All drugs brought to Mumbai are sold in the city itself. We have intelligence that drugs that go to Goa usually go through a route where the risk of getting caught is less," said Paraskar.