National

Alarm over prescription drug trade in north-east

As there is less demand for the high-cost heroin in the north-eastern states, the drug traffickers have switched over to more addictive but cheaper varieties. High officials in charge of the anti-drug campaign say that of late prescription drugs worth crores of rupees have been seized in Manipur. Besides one army Colonel, some police and paramilitary personnel and family members of politicians had been arrested with prescription drugs which were being smuggled out to Myanmar.

Sources said that since these prescription drugs are banned in Manipur, purchased are done in bulk in other states and smuggled to Imphal. Almost every week a special police cell used to confiscate drug consignments at the airport sent through some airlines under fictitious names. Now the cell has been disbanded. Anti-narcotics officials had also seized prescription drugs sent through post offices and courier services. Since the addresses were fictitious no arrest could be made.

These prescription drugs are smuggled to Mynamar through Moreh where there is a legalised border trade. Since thousands of vehicles ply daily along this route, it has become highly impossible to rummage through all of them. However, seizures take place upon specific inputs, police said. On February 24, Colonel Ajay Choudhury and his accomplices were nabbed near Moreh along with prescription drug worth over Rs 30 crore. On Tuesday police arrested two Manipur Rifles personnel and three accomplices including two women along with prescription drugs worth over Rs 20 crore.

Police admit that the frequency of seizures of pills smuggled from the no man's land is not satisfactory. But then once the construction of the border fence is completed, it will go a long way in checking drug trafficking.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:53:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/alarm-over-prescription-drug-trade-in-northeast/article5400522.ece

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