Gujarat Plus - Gujarat on Web
Rediscover Gujrat .....Rediscover the Gujrati in You
Drug traffickers employ innovative methods Saturday, October 20, 2001
BY AMIT MUKHERJEE, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: September 14: Narcotics Control Bureau sleuths intercept a Sumo, laden with cricket bats near Relief Cinema. They recover 25 kg of fine quality Kashmiri charas.
September 29: NCB sleuths, on receiving specific information, search a truck coming from Kashmir with a consignment of apples. They unearth a cavity in the ceiling of the driver's cabin. A huge consignment of charas, weighing 92 kg, was stuffed inside!
The Narcotics Control Bureau of Ahmedabad seized a record total of 117 kg charas, worth millions in the international market, in September.
According to department sources, the origin of both the consignments was Anantnag district. The drugs made their way into the state through porous state borders. "It would have been difficult to detect the consignments in the absence of specific information," admits an official.
Gujarat has always been a major transit point for drug pushers, with a large chunk of the drugs supplied to Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra passing through the state.
Sources say, with peddlers employing innovative methods in trafficking, intelligence gathered from informers becomes vital to crack down on the gangs. However, efforts put in by the department to cultivate the informers and develop a better intelligence network have started showing results.
The first consignment intercepted in September had a very unique modus operandi. Willow being a major produce of Kashmir, and bats made from it in demand all over the world, provide an opportunity for gangs trafficking charas.
The consignment had been carefully stuffed inside cavities in the cricket bats and marked to a sports outlet in Ahmedabad, leaving no ground for suspicion. The supplier was identified as Kabir Khurseed and the procurer Ali Hasan Bapu, a peddler with a history of dealing in drugs.
In the second consignment, apple, another major produce of the troubled state, was utilised by the peddlers. The consignment weighing 92 kg was carefully concealed inside a truck laden with apples.
The department attributes its success in all recent seizures to intelligence networking. In fact, the NCB, based on tip-off, also made one of the biggest seizures of acetic-anhydride in Ahmedabad. It is a controlled commodity and an ingredient used for the manufacture of Mandrax tablets.
Sources in the department say that hit by manpower constraints, NCB is focusing mainly on movements of contraband in bulk. They admit there is a large amount of contraband items floating around in the retail local markets of Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat.
"Apart from being a major transit point for drugs moving into Maharashtra, peddlers find sizeable number of customers in Gujarat, too," reveals a police officer. Informants have pointed out that the state has a market for cannabis ('ganja'), brown sugar, opium and hashish, with 'ganja' being the most popular.
While 'ganja' is a cheap commodity circulating in abundance in small quantities in industrial belts and university areas of the cities, opium is being used by many tea stalls. "There have been instances where tea stall owners have been using pinches of opium to get youngsters hooked on to their special brand of tea," discloses a police officer of the Anti-Terrorist Squad.
Brown sugar is also consumed in some parts of the state, with the contraband finding way through Rajasthan and even from pockets of Madhya Pradesh. Brown sugar or heroin is a derivative of opium. Consumption of heroin is evident from 469 addicts who had approached various rehabilitation centres in Gujarat for de-addiction during the 2000-2001. While Surat topped the list with 377 addicts, Ahmedabad had about nine. Nadiad had about 48 heroin addicts.
News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]