The United Nations narcotics report said that India is the source of illicit drugs and rising of drug abuse in its neighbouring countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives.
Meanwhile during recent years huge quantity of illicit drugs produced in India have been recovered from Bangladesh and Bhutan, the report said. Not only that India has also become a supplying ground of clandestine shipment of illicit drugs through Internet trade, those products are going even to North America and Europe.
The Vienna-based, United Nations narcotics watchdog, International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) released its report on February 24, 2010 further stated that India is the primary source of injectable drugs such as Pethedine and Morphine, which are widely abused in the neighbouring countries including Bangladesh. In fact, more and more addicts in South Asian countries including Bangladesh are shifting to inject able narcotics abuse.
"The widespread abuse of pharmaceutical preparations containing narcotic drugs such as Codeine is an ongoing problem in Bangladesh. Such preparations are smuggled into that country from India," reports the INCB.
The INCB report also gives details of seizure made in these countries. In 2008, drug enforcement agencies in Bangladesh seized 53,239 bottles containing codeine-based syrup and 226 ampoules containing Pethidine and Morphine. The same year, agencies seized 554 tablets containing codeine. But this was far less than the huge seizure of 70,000 tablets made in 2007.
A record seizure of Buprenorphine, a widely abused inject able drug, of 14,782 ampoules, was made by law enforcement authorities in that country in 2008. These too were smuggled into Bangladesh from India.
Pharmaceutical preparations containing Benzodiazepines are among the drugs most widely abused in Bhutan. More than 1,060 tablets containing Chlordiazepoxide and 240 strips of tablets containing Nitrazepam were seized in 2007 in Bhutan and the trend continued in 2008. The suspected origin of the seized drugs was India, according to the INCB report.
Besides smuggling drugs to neighbouring countries, the report says, India has become one of the main sources of drugs sold through illegal internet pharmacies. Orders placed with such pharmacies are often dispatched to buyers in other countries through courier or postal services.
The UN agency asked India to increase its vigilance in detecting the misuse of courier and postal services to smuggle controlled substances out of the country. It said the majority of clandestine shipments of controlled substances detected in India were destined for Australia and countries in North America and Europe.
The report on narcotics trafficking for the year further stated that 2009 couriers and postal services have got a boost on account of the recent trends in globalisation.
Crackdown on culprits
A report of "My News.In" stated that India, responding to this has said that its Narcotic Control Bureau in cooperation with the state government is busy cracking down on the culprits. The problem with India is that it is located in the midst of the Golden Triangle and Golden Quadrilateral.
The Indian minister for social justice, Mukul Wasnik said: "Drug abuse is a complex issue. Since long we had put in places strategies to tackle the situation. The INCB data does not provide much insight. It may be used as an input. It says that in India 72.2 million people have drug addiction. We are commissioning a survey through National Survey Organisation (NSSO) to arrive at a right figure. The NSSO has begun its work in Manipur, Punjab and Maharshtra."
However, different reports criticized that the INCB in its report has made critical references to the developing world and has been mild on the developed world. Whatever may be the present scenario as per the report, the origin and the history of the illegal drug trade hold the colonial rulers responsible for the situation. However, the South Asia representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), Cristina Albertin said that the INCB report was unbiased.
According to the INCB report seizures of amphetamine-type stimulants show that trafficking in these substances are increasing in South Asia. The region has also become a location for their manufacture. A number of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories have been discovered in India in recent years.
Trafficking in cannabis remains widespread throughout the region. In 2008, Indian authorities seized 103 tonnes cannabis herb and 4.1 tonnes cannabis resin. In Bangladesh, 2.3 tonne cannabis herb were seized, in Nepal more than seven tonnes and in Sri Lanka more than 37 tonnes. The widespread abuse of pharmaceutical preparations containing narcotics, namely codeine is an ongoing problem in Bangladesh.
However, the Indian authorities claim an increasing proportion of heroin seized in the country originated in Afghanistan, which indicates that India is being used as a transit area.
The smuggling of heroin into the Maldives is an ongoing problem and has contributed to a rise in drug abuse. Pharmaceutical preparations containing benzodiazepines are among the most widely abused in Bhutan. The sources of origin of these preparations are suspected to be in India.
Bangladesh is vulnerable to ATS and pharmaceutical preparations and source for preparations containing Pseudoephedrme trafficking. In Nepal there is trafficking of cannabis. Afghanistan remains by far the largest illicit producer of heroin and other opiates and is becoming a major producer of cannabis.
The INCB report also said that after tremendous progress in the past, countries in the east and south-east Asia faced setbacks in reducing illicit opium poppy cultivation in 2008, with a 3.3 per cent increase compared to the preceding year. Trafficking in methamphetamine and the illicit manufacture of MDMA (ecstasy) also increased. For the first time in recent years, the illicit manufacture of gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) was reported.