New Year parties in Delhi would have been a lot deadlier if not for a last-moment police crackdown. Party drugs worth Rs 180 crore were seized in just the last three days, forcing authorities into keeping a closer vigil.
While there is a supposed to be a big demand for party drugs such as methaqualone, ketamine, heroin and cocaine in Delhi, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is also being used as a transit point to smuggle these abroad.
“In two days, we have arrested two foreigners who were heading to South Africa. Nearly 38 kg of methaqualone, a party drug, which is consumed both in powder and capsule form, have been seized. Interrogation revealed that drug was meant for New Year parties in African countries,” said a customs official, requesting anonymity.
The Delhi police on Sunday caught a drug trafficker and recovered 47 kg of heroin and 2 kg of cocaine, valued at Rs 150 crore in the international market. Sometimes, the party drugs are smuggled to other countries directly from Delhi, these are manufactured at stealthy units. Otherwise, the drugs are smuggled to the Northeast states in the powder form, from where these are taken to African countries via Myanmar and Malaysia, said the customs official.
Africa is the main market and there the value of party drugs is many times higher than the value in rupees. Pseudo-ephedrine is another popular drug which is used in Delhi and also smuggled abroad. “Earlier, we used to recover heroine and charas but the trend has changed and except a few cases, all the arrests were related to smuggling of party drugs,” the official said.
The police said that after such a huge recovery ahead of New Year, they are keeping a watch over parties at the Capital’s various pubs and farm houses. “The accused arrested in the cases have revealed details about a syndicate and we will be keeping an eye on parties in Delhi and NCR. More arrests are likely,” said a senior Delhi police officer asking not to be named.