Drug Trafficking

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. UNODC is continuously monitoring and researching global illicit drug markets in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their dynamics.

 Data on Drug Trafficking

  1. According to NCRB Report 2016, a total 350862 Kg drugs were seized during 2016. Ganja Methaqualone, Ephedrine/Pseudo Ephedrine, Hashish and Heroin accounted for maximum. Seizures give an idea about popularity of various drugs. Apart from these, the abuse of pharmaceutical drugs is also on a rise.
  2. As of 2016, among all states and Union Territories, Punjab has the highest incidence rate (20.2 per lakh population) for cases under the NDPS Act.
  3. Maharashtra accounts for highest percentage (40%) of all NDPS cases in India. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Punjab.
  4. At current levels, world heroin consumption (340 tons) and seizures represent an annual flow of 430-450 tons of heroin into the global heroin market. Of that total, opium from Myanmar and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic yields some 50 tons, while the rest, some 380 tons of heroin and morphine, is produced exclusively from Afghan opium.
  5. In 2007 and 2008, cocaine was used by some 16 to 17 million people worldwide, similar to the number of global opiate users. North America accounted for more than 40 per cent of global cocaine consumption (the total was estimated at around 470 tons), while the 27 European Union and four European Free Trade Association countries accounted for more than a quarter of total consumption.
  6. As per UNODC World Drug Report 2018- A higher proportion of women than men are in prison for drug-related offences womens. 35% Women in prison for drug offences whereas 19% men are in prison for drug offences.

Drug Trafficking Pattern in India

India is sandwiched between two major drug trafficking production and transit region i.e Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle. This has major implications for India as drug trafficking creates its allied challenges.

Further cannabis (ganja) also grows unaided in many parts of the country. It has also been reported that it is cultivated in hilly terrains in some parts of the country.

There is a well-entrenched network  in various State where supply of Nitrazepam tablets(an Anti-Depressant Drug)  to the youth in Colleges, Girls  and Boys Hostel

The massive flow of drugs from Afghanistan into the Indian Ocean, and its distribution to the rest of the world though the sea route. Heroin and other drugs come down from Afghanistan and are loaded into fishing trawlers in Karachi, Keti Bandar or other smaller fishing harbors on the Pakistan coast.

Myanmar has totally failed in checking the growth of the drug trade within its borders, and this has  resulted in an unbridled rise in production of all kinds of narcotics. Due to which northeast in India, remains at high risk.

International drug smugglers have been using Nepal as a transit for smuggling as it has been discovered that cocaine and heroin arrive in Nepal from Latin American countries such as Brazil and Peru.The cocaine and heroin are not sold in Nepal and instead exported to India, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia among other East Asian countries, stated by Narcotics Control Bureau.

Punjab is both a transit point and a market for the drugs smuggled from the Golden Crescent  (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran).While the Afghanistan heroin is smuggled from the porous Indo-Pak border, opium and poppy husk is smuggled from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where poppy cultivation is legal.

 Indian Narcotics Control Bureau also reports that heroin is smuggled from India to Bangladesh through the porous Indo-Bangladesh border.

Reasons of Drug Trafficking:

  1. Terror Financing: Drug Trafficking is the most widespread and lucrative organized crime. Large trafficking organizations dominate the illicit .Struggling economies, unresolved conflicts, porous borders, corruption, and weak law-enforcement characterizing these territories have allowed organized crime and terrorism to flourish in the region. Central Asia is one of the major drug trafficking hotspots in the world that support insurgent movements and terrorism.
  2. Poverty: Opium Production is very attractive to poor people as it give 17 times more return than Rice.
  3. Westernization: Attracted to Hippie culture, Youth generally feel attracted towards drugs, sometimes. Even they got attracted from celebrities, Cinemas to do drugs thinking it will make them cool in their narrow Circle.
  4. Low priority: Low Priority accorded to the prevention of drug trafficking is one of the main reasons why concerned organization do not display required urgency in apprehending drug peddlers and subsequent investigation.

Turf wars between various agencies, corruption, intelligence failure, lack of manpower and infrastructure, poor drug detection training, and procedural delays are other factors that hamper the effectiveness of the country’s drug prevention efforts.

Steps taken by Indian Government:

  1. Enacting legislation such as the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS)
  2. Ensuring physical security of the borders and coasts by strengthening patrolling and surveillance
  3. Eliciting cooperation from neighbors by entering into several bilateral and multilateral agreements on prevention of illicit traffic of drugs and chemicals
  4. Co-operating with voluntary organizations in the endeavor to prevent abuse of narcotics and synthetic drugs.

Operation Monsoon  to sensitise newcomers at the start of the new academic year in colleges to get them aware how someone trap themfor Drug Abuse. and Operation Holiday to Focus on students who stayed back in hostels during the summer vacation in Eluva, Kerala.

Way Forward Demand Reduction:

Youngsters with emotional problems and from dysfunctional families are most vulnerable to drugs. A new tendency seems to be on the rise where youngsters from perfectly normal families are turning to drugs solely for recreational purposes. We have to enforce a protocol in dealing with the youth caught in drug trade so that they are not stigmatised for the rest of their lives.

Conclusion: Despite these measures, prevention of drug trafficking in India has achieved only partial success. Since drug trafficking has serious ramifications on youth of India but also on  the country’s security, it is time India pays much more attention to the problem and formulates robust measures to overcome the loopholes in its strategy for prevention of drug trafficking.