The postal department is aware of its overseas-bound parcels being used to smuggle drugs and the post offices are fighting to prevent this, officials said.
Postmaster General (Mumbai) PN Ranjit Kumar told HT they have now made know your customer (KYC) compulsory, where senders have to give their identification and address proofs. X-ray machines have been installed at foreign post offices of exchange.
He said the postal department is coordinating with the Customs and other agencies that deal in anti-narcotics operations. There has been an international effort to curb this menace and the postal department is part of it, he said.
Kumar said CCTVs have been installed in sensitive areas to curb these incidents. Those who operate X-ray machines are being trained by the postal department and other agencies.
According to officials, all the outward international mail is sent to Custom authorities for checking at the Department of Posts’ offices of Exchange in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Kochi before being handed over to airlines for international transportation.
Officials said various agencies are focusing on coordination and sharing of intelligence to nab those indulging in transporting contrabands.
Also, regular training programmes are being conducted to upgrade skills of all those involved in combating the drug menace. Various security agencies are also offering monetary rewards for information that can help seize narcotics parcels.
The postal staff is also being trained and sensitised for identification of contraband and about the methods being used to conceal drugs in parcels, postal department officials said.
According to sources in the ANC, some of the drug operators prefer private postal and courier services as they are cheap and have fewer security hassles. Many private firms have hired former police officers, who have worked in anti-drug agencies, to train their staff in detecting contrabands, a former official of the ANC said.