Punjab tops country in opium seizure, second in heroin recovery: NCB report | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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Punjab tops country in opium seizure, second in heroin recovery: NCB report

The latest report, brought out after compiling data from all states and agencies, was unveiled by Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday.

punjab Updated: Mar 25, 2018 20:06 IST
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
The year gone by also saw the maximum number of cases of interdiction of these illegal drugs in the last five years, generally abused by the young and a few other categories.
The year gone by also saw the maximum number of cases of interdiction of these illegal drugs in the last five years, generally abused by the young and a few other categories.(Representative Image)

Seizure of narcotic drugs such as opium, heroin and cannabis in the country has increased by more than 300% in the last five years with 2017 witnessing an all-time high recovery of over 3.6 lakh kg of narcotics, according to the latest Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) report.

Among the states last year, the maximum opium seizure was made from Punjab at 505.86 kg followed by Rajasthan at 426.95 kg. The maximum amount of heroin was seized in Gujarat at 1,017 kg followed by Punjab at 406 kg.

A haul of 2,551 kg opium (used to produce heroin), 2,146-kg heroin, 3,52,379-kg of cannabis (ganja or weed), 3,218 kg of hashish (cannabis resin) and 69 kg of cocaine (party drug smuggled into India mainly by west African traffickers) was seized by various anti-narcotic agencies in the country last year, the highest seizure of narcotics since 2013.

While the last year saw the total narcotic seizures at over 3.60 lakh kg, it was 3.01 lakh kg in 2016, over 1 lakh kg in 2015, 1.1 lakh kg in 2014 and about 1 lakh kg in 2013, the NCB report accessed by PTI said.

The year gone by also saw the maximum number of cases of interdiction of these illegal drugs in the last five years, generally abused by the young and a few other categories.

The latest report, brought out after compiling data from all states and agencies, was unveiled by Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday.

The NCB is the national agency to coordinate drug law enforcement activities in the country by involving various state agencies, police and central departments and it functions under the ministry of home affairs (MHA).

Barring hashish and cocaine, all other narcotic drugs saw their maximum seizures, over the last five years, in 2017. NCB officials attributed the highest seizure of these drugs in the last year to an increased amount of awareness and enhanced capabilities of drug law enforcement agencies to interdict illegal cache.

“Not only in the last five years, the seizures in the years prior to that were no match to what has been recovered and seized in 2017,” a senior official said.

Cannabis seizure was the highest in Andhra Pradesh at 78,767 kg followed by Odisha at 55,875 kg during 2017. While Uttar Pradesh accounted for the maximum hashish (also known as charas) seizure at 702 kg followed by Madhya Pradesh at 625 kg, the national capital of Delhi had the highest seizure of cocaine at 30 kg followed by Maharashtra at 21.83 kg.

The report also talked about trends for 2017 witnessed in smuggling and trafficking of these illegal drugs. Opium, it said, is trafficked from Manipur, Jharkhand, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to other parts of the country while major trafficking of heroin in India takes place through the India-Pakistan border in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and subsequently to other states.

“There is a trend of trafficking of charas from J&K to Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Goa and Gujarat. Charas is also trafficked from Nepal into India,” it said.

Talking about cocaine trends, the report said its seizures have been made “mostly at the airports”.

“There are many instances of small quantities of cocaine trafficking through parcels concealed in common household articles like cosmetics, utensils, books, food items and clothing,” the report said.

An all-time high destruction of illicit poppy cultivation was also done in the last year as 7,602 acres of such crop was cleared by multiple agencies as compared to what was done any time since 2013.

Similarly, 8,515 acres of illicit cannabis cultivation was destroyed last year, the highest since year 2013.