The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has said that the amount of illegal drugs in the country has doubled. Rakesh Asthana, Bureau Chief, has also said that there has been a spike in drug trafficking across South Asia in the recent past. The announcements were made at the BIMSTEC conference on 'Combating Drug Trafficking'.
The Bureau stated that the increase in the seizures are due to heightened vigil and restructuring of drug law enforcement agencies.
Deputy Director-General Rajesh Nandan Shrivastva of NCB said that in 2019, a total 2,448 kg of Heroin was seized compared to 1,258 kg in 2018. Similarly, in 2019, the total seizure of opium was 7,317 kg and in 2018, it was recorded 4,307 kg. In 2019, the sleuths seized 58 kg of Cocaine and in 2018 it was 35 kgs.
The conference was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who said that the Central government is taking all steps to control drug abuse in the country. "We will not allow the import and export of intoxicating drugs. We are completely dedicated to controlling drug trafficking. I congratulate the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for its manual, which has been prepared in a very short time. India has zero-tolerance towards intoxicating drugs. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, we are taking a definitive approach to control drug trafficking and trade. We are about to set a framework for coordination among different organizations to fight this challenge."
The BIMSTEC had organized a two-day conference on the subject and in a statement, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had earlier said, "In the changing drug-trafficking scenario, Asian countries are increasingly being affected by drug trafficking and BIMSTEC, being the key link between South Asian and southeast Asian nations, is one of the most effective platforms to tackle this global threat." A recent seizure of 1,527 kgs of methamphetamine in two tranches by the NCB established the fact that the Bay of Bengal region was impregnated with the drug-trafficking menace, it added.
BIMSTEC organizes inter-governmental interactions through Summits, Ministerial Meetings, Senior Officials Meetings and Expert Group Meetings and through BIMSTEC Working Group (BWG) based in Bangkok. The association has identified 14 priority areas where a member country takes lead. India is the lead country for Transport & Communication, Tourism, Environment & Disaster Management, and Counter-Terrorism & Transnational Crime.