Last year, India’s law enforcement agencies seized heroin worth more than the annual budget of various states, data shared by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has revealed, which pegged the seizure at 5.651.68 kilograms of the banned substance.
According to the same calculation done during the biggest seizure last year of 3,000 kilograms of heroin from Mundra port, the cost of the heroin seized in 2021 is close to Rs 40,000 crores. It’s important to note that this is not the total amount of heroin seized in India but that taken over by various drug law enforcement agencies in states having international boundaries only.
Data shared by MHA in Rajya Sabha reveals that including the world’s biggest seizure of heroin from Mundra port last year, all agencies from such states have recorded an almost 72 per cent increase compared to 2020.
In 2020, various agencies seized heroin almost equal to the amount seized from Gujarat alone last year — 3,265.14 kilograms, which is close to 2021’s catch of 3,555.17 kilograms from the state.
Last year, the maximum amount of heroin was seized from Gujarat, followed by Punjab (819.18 kgs) and Meghalaya (501.99 kgs).
In 2021, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) impounded two containers carrying about 2,988.22 kilograms of heroin at Mundra port and arrested two persons. Later, the case was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for probe.
The NIA has registered another case where it is suspected that a similar consignment was missed by agencies at Mundra port in June last year.
The Home Ministry says the government has taken several steps to contain drug trafficking in the country. “The government introduced the Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD) in 2016 to have effective coordination of actions among various Ministries, Departments, Central and States law enforcement agencies. The mechanism was restructured in 2019 into a 4 tier structure — Apex Committee (Headed by Union Home Secretary); Executive Committee (Headed by Special Secretary (IS),
MHA); State Level Committee (Headed by Chief Secretary of the concerned State); and District Level Committee (Headed by District Magistrate),” the ministry said.
Also, Director General-level talks are being held with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to discuss and resolve various drug-related issues.
“India has signed 26 Bilateral Agreements, 15 Memorandum of Understandings and 02 Agreements on Security Cooperation with different countries for combating illicit trafficking of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances,” the MHA said.
The ministry also told the Rajya Sabha that the “Narcotics Control Bureau co-ordinates with various international organizations such as SAARC Drug Offences Monitoring Desk (SDOMD), Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), Colombo Plan, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters (ASOD), Bay of Bengal Initiative For Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Co-Operation (BIMSTEC), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) etc. for sharing information and intelligence to combat transnational drug trafficking”.
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