A new high: Around 18kg cocaine seized in Mumbai this year, seven times higher than in 2016 | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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A new high: Around 18kg cocaine seized in Mumbai this year, seven times higher than in 2016

The amount of amphetamine, a party drug, confiscated grew 16 times, show statistics released by the Narcotics Control Bureau

mumbai Updated: Dec 20, 2017 11:14 IST
Pratik Salunke
From 2.6 kg last year, the cocaine seized this year has increased to 17.87 kg till December 18.
From 2.6 kg last year, the cocaine seized this year has increased to 17.87 kg till December 18.

The year 2017 saw drug lords take special interest in Mumbai: while nearly seven times more cocaine was seized in the city this year, the amount of Amphetamine confiscated grew 16 times, revealed statistics released by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

From 2.6 kg last year, cocaine seized this year increased to 17.87 kg till December 18, seized amphetamine (commonly called speed) hiked from 1.98 kg to 31.16 kg, Ephedrine from no seizure to 29.3 kg, pseudoephedrine from 3 kg to 5 kg and cough syrup from 54 bottles to 281 bottles.

The quantity of other drugs like cannabis (charas) dropped from 120.16 kg to 60.5 kg. Drugs which had not been seized the previous year but saw seizures this year are marijuana (46.700 kg), mephedrone (1.214 kg) and methaqualone (1.05 kg).There were certain drugs which were not seized this year like heroin (1.720 kg seized last year), alprazolam tablets (19 strips) and spasmoxyvon (20 strips).

“Cocaine which is sourced from Latin American countries is a costly drug, while amphetamine is a party drug which is one of the most dangerous,” said SK Sinha, zonal director, NCB, told HT. “The effort is to not run away from the drug problem but to find solutions.”

Drugs like cannabis are also sourced locally from Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

In total, cases of drug seizures jumped to 24 this year from 2016’s 17. This indicates that drug abuse remains a serious issue. NCB said amphetamine is highly addictive and may lead to depression, suicidal tendencies and used in parties to enhance stamina. The health implications are far worse as extreme addiction can lead to death.

The bureau said social stigma attached to the drugs has to be wiped out. “When we approach certain institutions for awareness campaigns, they are worried that putting up posters may hamper their image. Families tend to hide the reason behind hospitalisation of addicts and hence many things don’t come out in the open for us to reach the root cause,” said Sinha.

To find the root cause of the drug menace, the officer said the government is formulating a plan to study and track drug cartels and their circulation module. “Unlike in movies where there is just one drug lord, the reality is that there are multiple players. A cancerous chain circulates drugs,” said Sinha.