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India is vulnerable to trafficking of narcotics: Officials

India is vulnerable to trafficking of narcotics: Officials
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

India is vulnerable to the trafficking of narcotics as it is sandwiched between the 'Golden Crescent' and the 'Golden Triangle', the major opium production regions in the world, officials said on Saturday. This was highlighted at the two-day conference on 'Combating Drug Trafficking' for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) partner nations, which concluded on Friday.

"The geographical proximity to both the 'Golden Crescent' and the 'Golden Triangle', major opium production regions of the world, puts all the BIMSTEC partner nations in a very precarious position. "India's position is more vulnerable as we are sandwiched between the 'Golden Crescent' and the 'Golden Triangle'," an official statement said.

The Golden Crescent region of South Asia comprises Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. The Golden Triangle is the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong rivers. These two areas are known as the major opium production regions of the world.

The bumper harvests of opium in Afghanistan for the last few years have given rise to an increased supply of heroin in all the BIMSTEC countries. Another major issue for worry is a large number of methamphetamine manufacturing facilities that are prevalent in some of the BIMSTEC countries, the statement said.

These facilities manufacture a large quantity of methamphetamine, which is further trafficked to all the BIMSTEC countries. Over two days of extensive deliberations at the conference provided an important platform for the partner nations to share ideas and exchange best practices required to combat the drug menace in the region.

Another area of concern is drug trafficking through sea route that affects the BIMSTEC nations. While the Bay of Bengal facilitates trade worth billions of dollars, the drug traffickers also use this vast network to their advantage, an official said. Two recent seizures of 371 kg and 1,156 kg methamphetamine by Indian authorities from two vessels in the Bay of Bengal are glaring examples of this facet.

Further, the BIMSTEC region is one of the most thriving centers of pharmaceutical manufacture and trade. It is also in very close proximity to China, which is another leading country in the pharma sector.

This has also made the BIMSTEC region very vulnerable to the diversion and trafficking in pharmaceutical drugs, the official said. The developments in technology have thrown a challenge to drug law enforcement agencies.

The use of darknet is one of the ugly facets of technological use in drug trafficking. The combination of darknet and courier/postal deliveries have made the narco/psychotropic trafficking more anonymous in nature.

Keeping in mind these problems that are common to the BIMSTEC nations and the Indian subcontinent in particular, the various sessions of the conference were designed, the official said. The conference brought out the best practices followed in terms of drug law enforcement in the BIMSTEC nations. All the BIMSTEC nations reaffirmed their commitment to increased cooperation.

According to another official, Asian countries are increasingly being affected by drug trafficking and BIMSTEC, being the key link between South Asian and South East Asian Nations is one of the most effective platforms to tackle this global threat. The BIMSTEC is a regional organization comprising seven member states lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal i.e. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, besides India, constituting a contiguous regional unity.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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