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Drugs worth ₹96 crore seized in Mumbai this year

Mumbai city news: A new challenge faced by the enforcement agencies is the involvement of international drug syndicates operating in the city.

mumbai Updated: Jul 07, 2017 01:24 IST
Pratik Salunke
Pratik Salunke
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,drugs,drug haul
Picture for representation(HT File)

Drugs worth Rs96 crore in the illicit market have been seized in the city this year by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

The seizure of cocaine has been the highest with 18.15 kilograms, which has led to the arrest of several foreign nationals. The other drugs were amphetamine (10 kilograms), marijuana (47 kilograms) and hashish (55 kilograms), apart from other seizures of cough syrups and mephedrone.

“Cocaine is a high-end party drug. It is a drug of affordability,” Kumar Sanjay Jha, NCB zonal director, Mumbai and Goa region told HT.

The cases have also seen a rise compared to the corresponding years. “There were a total 17 cases last year and 18 cases in 2015. This year, we already have 17 cases registered, in which 21 people have been arrested,” said Jha.

A new challenge faced by the enforcement agencies is the involvement of international drug syndicates operating in the city. The NCB has arrested foreigners hailing from Kenya, Bolivia, Nigeria and South Africa.

The recent cases has brought to the fore the drug route largely adopted by the drug lords. The drugs are transported from several African countries to Mumbai through mules. During transit, the mule or the carrier is handed over at places such as the airport.

The carriers include women, youngsters and anyone who has joined the trade to make a quick buck or forced into it. Such is the secrecy maintained, that it is nearly impossible for the agencies to break the entire chain involved- ranging from the drug manufacturers, carriers, sellers and peddlers.

Drugs couriered out of the city are also difficult to be traced. Sources stated that the volume of couriers going out of the city is huge. Small packets are sent through couriers and it is difficult to keep a tab on every consignment.

The year also saw the death of Arjun Bhardwaj, a 23-year-old student in Mumbai, who jumped from the 19th floor in April and mentioned drug abuse as one of the reasons. The case has been a real eye opener and many youngsters have been counselled through campaigns such as plays, lectures, flash mobs amongst others. “Not giving in to peer pressure makes a huge difference,” said Jha.

First Published: Jul 05, 2017 13:43 IST