LAHAN, July 31: In the last week of June, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of Nepal Police arrested Mahesh Basnet with a huge cache of drugs from Kathmandu. Police recovered different types of injections, liquid and tablets from Basnet. While probing the matter, the police uncovered a strong network of drug dealers and buyers involved in the illegal business. The network stretched from Kathmandu to Indian cities across the border. The investigation also revealed that the sellers were from India while the buyers and users were mostly from Nepal.
Following the statement of Basnet, Shree Prasad Yadav, 28 of Balan Bihul Rural Municipality, Mauwaha was arrested from Lahan on July 13 on the charge of selling illicit drugs to Basnet.
Laukaha, Khutauna, Ladniya, Piprahi, Jayanagar on the Indian side of the border are the major drug markets. After purchasing drugs from these markets, drugs is stored in Lahan and then supplied to Kathmandu in public vehicles. NCB is still investigating the case to unveil more members of the network.In the first week of July, Udayapur Police arrested Bharat Khadka of Lalpatta with 600 ampules of injectable drugs. Police confiscated the injections of Fenargon, Lupigesic, Diazelab among others. The drug racket was about to supply those drugs brought from Laukaha to Kathmandu, informed Superintendent (SP) Nawaraj Bhatta, Chief of Udayapur Police.
In recent times, illicit drugs imported from India have been a headache for Udayapur Police. Police remain alert along this route to check the smuggling of drugs but there has been no decrease in the number of suppliers, says SP Bhatta. SP Bhatta stressed the need for tightening security along the the borders.
At first, porters carry the drugs to Lahan after receiving certain payment. Then some more people transport those drugs to Kathmandu. Then there is another network, which distributes drugs among the users there.
Indian market: a major source of drugs
According to police, most of the arrestees claim that they purchased the drugs from the Indian market. Locals living in the border area complain that the smugglers convince the security personnel in the borders to let them enter with the drugs.An ampule of injections like Lupigesic, Fenaragon, Diage lab, Diajepam among others cost Rs 200 Nepali rupee in the Indian market. However, their amount increases to Rs.700 after entering Lahan and the price jumps straight to Rs 1500 per ampule after reaching Kathmandu. As making money is easy in this business, more and more number of people are lured towards it.Rajesh Thapa, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) at the Area Police Office (APO), Lahan, stated that breaking the network of drug-traffickers is challenging. The network of traffickers is expanding day by day.
In fiscal year 2015/16, 24 drug smuggling related cases were registered in Udayapur. However, the number decreased to 23 in fiscal year 2016/17. Surprisingly, the number jumped to a whopping 97 in 2017/18.