How American marijuana is entering India via Nepal?

Published On: September 18, 2023 07:38 PM NPT By: Arun Bam

KATHMANDU, Sept 18: Despite the ban on the production and use of marijuana in South Asian countries such as Nepal and India, experts suggest that a significant portion of the global marijuana market is dominated by cannabis from this region and hashish derived from it. However, there have been surprising reports of marijuana produced in Western countries, such as the United States of America, Canada, and Europe, entering South Asian countries since 2076 BS. This contraband marijuana arrives in Nepal via air routes, concealed in parcels, and then reaches India through overland routes.

On September 5, a parcel was sent from the United States to Nepal via the General Post Office in Dillibazar, Kathmandu. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of Nepal Police has said that while the parcel was marked as containing toys and chocolates, it was found to contain 900 grams of marijuana. Superintendent of Police Chakra Raj Joshi said that two individuals, Dallu Ram,32, and Habib Mia,43, from Birgunj Metropolitan City, were arrested when they came to collect the parcel.

Similarly, on September 10, another parcel sent from the USA to Pokhara via the General Post Office in Dillibazar was discovered to contain 1,400 grams of marijuana. The parcel was scheduled to be sent to its destination, Pokhara. On September 11, Ajin Vargas (24), an Indian citizen, arrived at the Kaski post office to collect the parcel and was subsequently arrested. The authorities later conducted a raid on Vargas's rented room and found an additional 720 grams of marijuana.

Another parcel containing 939 grams of marijuana from the United States arrived at the General Post Office in Dillibazar on September 10. Renuka Tamang,39, from Dadeldhura went to collect the parcel at the General Post Office and was arrested. Subsequently, two more Indian nationals, Arun Kumar and Mohammad Naeem, were arrested based on the information provided by Tamang.

On March 4, there were about 7 kg of marijuana in two different parcels sent as children’s toys and chocolates from California, USA. Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Customs Office got suspicious and opened those parcels and found 4.5 kg of marijuana in the first parcel and 2.5 kg in the second one. But the police allowed the parcel to reach General Post Office Dillibazar. The NCB information officer SP Chakra Raj Joshi stated that the police arrested two Nepalis named Faiz Alam from Sarlahi and Rupak Aryal from Gorkha.

Similarly, an Indian national Nimesh Ashokbhai Dayani from Gujarat was charged with marijuana smuggling after he came to receive the parcels.

Dayani had arrived from India to receive the parcel and stayed in a hotel in Thamel. A 23-year-old Rupak Aryal of Gandaki Rural Municipality-4 of Gorkha went to get the second parcel. All three of them were arrested by the NCB team from the General Post Office.

These parcels are sent under various individuals' names, but those arrested so far do not appear to be marijuana users or dealers. It has been revealed that these individuals are being used by traders to receive marijuana parcels under the guise of friendship. Smugglers establish friendships with random people and order marijuana in their names. If the smugglers are unavailable to receive the parcel, they ask their friends to collect it from the post office.

The exact reason for the importation of western marijuana remains unclear, but the main consumers and businesses involved are Indians. The price of marijuana arriving from Western countries, including the USA, is estimated to be between INR 4 million to INR 5 million per kilogram.

The NCB has been collaborating with Indian law enforcement agencies to address this issue. Those arrested in Nepal on charges related to marijuana dealing and transportation are prosecuted under the Narcotics Control Act, 2033.

Additionally, the Armed Police Force in Hetauda, Nepal, recently seized nine quintals and 19 kg of illegal marijuana concealed within a truck. The marijuana was discovered hidden in the interior of the vehicle. Two individuals, Dulare Yadav,45, and Yogesh Barma, were arrested, and investigations are underway concerning their use of a Nepali name and number.






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