A major narcotics smuggling module originating from Pakistan has been busted, said a police spokesman on Friday.
Although the Union Home Ministry’s anti-drug machinery has set up a new platform to coordinate State and national level efforts to control drug trafficking, the problem continues to pose a serious challenge for law enforcing agencies.
Home Minister Amit Shah has identified narcotic smuggling as among the biggest challenges before the country’s police systems. He even asked the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) a few days ago to rise to the occasion, and help the Government fight the menace.
The Narcotics Coordination (NCORD) has been set up by the MHA as a new platform to bring the State and national agencies together in their fight against drug trafficking.
The drug traffickers have been using the dark net to conduct their business without hinder. This has forced the Narcotics Control Board (NCB) recently to plan an Intelligence Fusion Centre to detect drug trafficking activities involving dark net and crypto-currencies.
Restrictions imposed on the movement of people and commodities due to Covid-19 led the drug trafficking groups to reinvent their strategies.
The drug traffickers have been increasingly taking the help of innovations in technology to challenge the drug law enforcement agencies the world over.
Some of these challenges are the use of dark net to sell drugs, use of untraceable internet-based technology for drug related communications, use of drones to transport drugs from across the border etc. NCB is working in tandem with other affected nations in the increasingly high-tech fight against drugs.
A Joint Coordination Committee has also been set up by the MHA to improve coordination between the Centre and the States. Quick sharing of data on drug seizures has been a challenge and a Seizure Information Management System portal has been made operational.
As the problem is nation-wide, and the NCB has limited manpower, even major Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like the Border Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Indian Coast Guard, Railway Protection Force and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have been empowered under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 to interdict drugs at the land and sea borders.
India has signed 27 bilateral agreements, 15 MoUs and two agreements on security cooperation with different countries to control illicit drugs and chemical precursors’ trafficking.
In spite of this, the drug traffickers continue with their trade because of technology. They are using the dark net, an overlay network within the Internet that can only be accessed with specific software.
Dark Net is often used for illegal acts anonymously like such as accessing child abuse images, promoting terrorism, or selling illegal items such as weapons.
The Home Minister asked the BPR&D to do research on the technology going around the world, so as to deal with the emerging challenges, and help the police forces of the country to face them, the Home Minister said.