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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Punjab leads among states in drug trade, as per NCRB's 2012 data

IANS  New Delhi, June 22, 2014
First Published: 18:44 IST(22/6/2014) | Last Updated: 20:31 IST(22/6/2014)

Of the over 50 Indian cities which reported the maximum cases of drug trafficking in 2012, the national capital is at the second spot behind Mumbai while Punjab leads among states followed by Uttar Pradesh, indicates data from the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB).

Citing comprehensive data available for 2012, the NCRB said Mumbai registered the maximum cases of drug trafficking at 1,512 followed by Delhi with 829 cases therefore leading the group of 53 Indian cities that are highly active when it comes to drug trade. Data for 2013 is yet to be compiled.

Delhi is followed by Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) with 551 cases, Amritsar with 457, and Kota (Rajasthan), with 242.

Meanwhile, the lowest number of cases were registered in Vasai Virar of Maharashtra (2), followed by Aurangabad (Bihar) with three cases, Dhanbad and Ranchi (both Jharkhand) with 4 each, and Vadodara and Rajkot (Gujarat) with 5 each.

A total of 29,247 cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, were registered in 2012 showing an increase of 13.4 percent compared to previous year's 29,048 cases.

Trend analysis showed 15.7 percent increase from 2002 and 0.7 percent marginal increase from the average of last five years (2007-2012).

As per the state wise NCRB data, Punjab has emerged at the top position with 10,220 registered cases in 2012 followed by Uttar Pradesh with 6,755 cases, Maharashtra, 1,903 cases, Tamil Nadu, 1,402 cases and Rajasthan with 1,115 cases.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir registered 411 cases while Gujarat, despite of sharing its border with Pakistan, which is major supplier of narcotics, registered only 68 cases.

The lowest number of cases were reported from Sikkim (3) followed by Andaman and Nicobar Islands (4), Puducherry (6) and Lakshadweep (11).

The data further said that a total of 13,459 people, including 216 foreigners, were arrested and 89,519 kg of drugs including opium, morphine, heroin, ganja, hashish, cocaine, methaqualone, ephedrine, LSD, acetic anhydride, and amphetamine were recovered.

"At least 13 kinds of different drugs are being smuggled to international market at different rates starting from Rs.1.5 lakh to Rs.2.5 crore per kg," said a Crime Branch official in Delhi Police adding that the prices increased by 3-5 times when drugs reach Delhi from the bordering states and 5-10 times when it reaches Mumbai.

"After transiting through India, the drugs end up on the streets of North American and European cities. There is manifold increase, particularly in the price of heroin when the consignment reaches the international market," said Additional Commissioner of police (Crime Branch), Ashok Chand.

An anti-narcotics cell official, on condition of anonymity, told IANS: "Balkan and northern routes are the main heroin trafficking corridors linking Afghanistan to the huge markets of the Russia and western Europe."

"The Balkan route traverses Iran (often via Pakistan), Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria across southeast Europe to the eastern European market. The northern route runs mainly through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (or Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan) to Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation," he said.

Another Delhi Police's narcotic cell official said: "Heroin enters India through Jammu, Amritsar and Rajasthan borders, charas comes in through Manali, ganja from Odisha and Jharkhand and cocaine, which is basically produced in Colombia, comes via Africa."

In India, the distribution links have been established in Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and Odisha. Police are keeping tabs on smugglers to bust the drug rackets.

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