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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

NCB preps to upgrade war against drugs, readies list of 100 mafia bosses

According to home ministry and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials, all the 14 zonal directors of the NCB have been told to identify drug kingpins in India so that the chain of distribution is smashed at the top.

india Updated: Oct 17, 2019 09:11 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Special focus will also be on cocaine suppliers in Mumbai, given the abuse of the substance in the city, especially the film industry, as well as Pune, Goa, Bengaluru and Delhi
Special focus will also be on cocaine suppliers in Mumbai, given the abuse of the substance in the city, especially the film industry, as well as Pune, Goa, Bengaluru and Delhi(Reuters file photo for representation)
         

For the first time, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is in the process of preparing a list of the 100 top drug mafia kingpins in India and initiate action against them in the coming fortnight under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (PITNDPS) Act.

Special focus will also be on cocaine suppliers in Mumbai, given the abuse of the substance in the city, especially the film industry, as well as Pune, Goa, Bengaluru and Delhi.

According to home ministry and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials, all the 14 zonal directors of the NCB have been told to identify drug kingpins in India so that the chain of distribution is smashed at the top.

With a database of PITNDPS cases in the past decade, the zonal directors have already been sending names of top drug mafia figures to the ministry and NCB rather than confine themselves to drug pushers and peddlers. Preventive arrests will also be made on the basis of this kingpin list.

The decision to crack down on Indian drug lords comes after a marked increase in heroin trafficking was noticed through the Line of Control(LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. Since August 2018, there have been seizures of nearly 180 kilograms of heroin through the LoC.

A kilogram of heroin costs between Rs 2.5-3 crore in the international market while the cost is around Rs 30-50 lakh per kilogram in India. What came as a shock is that India consumes nearly one ton of heroin every day, which is worth more that Rs 100 crore.

While Afghanistan and Pakistan remain the main suppliers to India through the western borders and the sea, the Myanmar-Northeast axis is another major source of heroin and chemical drugs like Yaba (a combination of a number of stimulants), methamphetamines and ketamines. The trade is essentially controlled in India by the Israeli, Russian, Italian and Nigerian mafia.

Just as heroin from Afghanistan is used to fund terror groups against India, a section of the non-resident Indian (NRI) Sikh community based in Canada is used to supply Colombian cocaine into India and onward to Australia. The route used by cocaine smugglers is South America to Canada and thereon to India through the Sikh diaspora net. It is this group which is behind promoting secessionist activity against India, with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence encouraging the drug smuggling to fund terror.

There has been an increase in maritime trafficking of heroin in the Arabian Sea for supplies to India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This year alone, nearly 500 kilograms of heroin has been intercepted off the coast of Gujarat as well as on the high seas from a Pakistani boat meant for Sri Lanka. “The drug menace is huge in India with the country also being the number 2 supplier of drug precursors in the world. The time has come to take direct action against drug lords in India rather than chasing fixers and abusers,” said a senior NCB official who didn’t want to be named.