Demand for cocaine, cannabis on rise, says Anti-Narcotics Cell
The drug trend in the city seems to be changing. According to figures available with the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Mumbai police, cannabis (ganja) and cocaine have seen an increased demand in the last 18 months whereas heroin, opium and morphine have witnessed a downfall in the same period.
The figures further show a considerable rise in the quantity of cannabis that was recovered from drug peddlers.
Recent figures — from August 2009 to January 2011 — show a considerable increase in the seizure of cocaine, known to be party drug, methaqualone, a sedative-hypnotic drug and ephedrine, a key ingredient in another party drug, methamphetamine.
While the quantity of hashish seized between February 2008 and July 2009 was 302kg, the figure doubled to 614kg during the period from August 2009 to January 2011. Similarly, from February 2008 to July 2009, 585 grams of cocaine was seized which increased to around three kg in the last 18 months. The most popular narcotic appears to be cannabis with over 5,800kg seized in the last 18 months. The quantity seized from February 2008 to July 2009 was 389kg.
“The increase in seizures is because of our proactive approach towards the control of distribution and consumption of such harmful substances,” said Sunil Paraskar, deputy commissioner of police, ANC.
The seizure of heroin has gone down to 22kg in last 18 months while during February 2008 to July 2009 around 32kg was seized by the Anti-Narcotics Cell. The number of people arrested for selling narcotics has, however, decreased in the last 18 months. Between February 2008 to July 2009, 372 persons were arrested for selling drugs. This figure has gone down to 363 in last 18 months.
The monetary value of the seizures has gone up from Rs40 crore to Rs95 crore in the last 18 months.
Paraskar said that because of their frequent seizures and raids, several deliveries of are made in the outskirts of Mumbai such as Thane and Navi Mumbai. “However, jurisdiction is not a problem for the ANC. “We make seizures based on the information that we get irrespective of the area in which it is found,” said a senior ANC officer.