By Rajnish Singh, New Delhi, May 11 IANS | 5 months ago

Facing the heat of a steady crackdown and resulting decline in their business, the capital's drug smugglers are desperately looking for new options like golf kits, women's sandals, bicycle seats and even car pistons to move their contraband abroad, police say.


Officers of the Anti-Narcotics Cell and the Crime Branch of Delhi Police say that their sustained efforts in curbing the problem of drug smuggling is paying off and in the last three years, the number of cases have drastically declined.

According to police data, 435 cases of drug trafficking were registered and 536 people were arrested in 2013 - a drop from 825 registered cases and 956 arrested in 2012. In 2011, 1,127 cases were registered and 1,285 people were arrested.

In the first four months of 2014, only 14 cases have been registered and 19 people, including 16 Indians and three foreigners, have been arrested.

"They (smugglers) are definitely feeling the heat. We have come down hard on them and will continue to do so," Narcotics and Crime Prevention Cell Inspector Vivekanand Pathak told IANS.

As a result, the peddlers are anxious to find new ways to move their contraband abroad.

"Golf kits, women's sandals, bicycle seats and car pistons are some of the new items being used by drug peddlers to smuggle heroin, cocaine and 11 other contraband items to countries like China, Nigeria, South Africa and the US," Pathak said.

"Concealed cavities in these items are cleverly filled with the drugs and shipped through couriers as parcels," he added.

The security agencies discovered the new trend following the arrests of a Grecian, Emmanouil Chatzak, 35, and a Nigerian, Odeomenan Kenneth Ozioma, 23, here in February and April respectively while they were in the process of sending such a parcel to their associates.

Pathak said the drug traffickers earlier used text books and tea packets for the job but ditched them after being caught by the police several times.

"They are now looking for new items and products which do not raise any suspicion," another officer told IANS.

Till April 30, two kg of heroin, six kg of ephridin and 200 grams of cocaine have been confiscated by the police that were hidden in golf kits, shoes, car pistons and bicycle seats.

At least 13 kinds of different drugs including smack, heroin, opium, ganja and cocaine
among others are being smuggled to international market at different rates starting from Rs. 1.50 lakh to Rs. 2.50 crore per kg, the officials said.

"The most popular are smack and heroin, which are sent in large quantities to foreign countries," said the officials.

Even as the number of cases registered and people arrested for drug smuggling has
been reducing, Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav said that the police
will continue with their crackdown and are constantly working with all the stakeholders.

"Interstate coordination of narcotics cell, network of informers and Intelligence Bureau (IB) alerts are some of the basic points on which we have been working to control this menace," Yadav told IANS.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at rajnish.k@ians.in)

(Posted on 11-05-2014)

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