Smugglers expanding drug network via Nepal

Published On: July 2, 2022 05:30 PM NPT By: Arun Bam

KATHMANDU, July 2: A few days ago, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of Nepal Police arrested 10 foreigners with about 56 kilograms of heroin. This proves that drug traffickers from all over the world are smuggling it to the illegal market via Nepal. However, police have not fully confirmed when this happened. This incident and some past examples have shown that drugs are being smuggled from third countries through Tribhuvan International Airport and then smuggled to India through land routes. This shows that Nepali land has been used as a transit point for drug trafficking.

Not only this, the concerns over drug use and illicit trafficking within Nepal are even greater. Looking at the NCB statistics of the past six years, the situation of illegal drug businesses and drug addiction appears alarming.

48,000 kg of drugs seized in 70 months

According to the NCB, about 48,000 kilograms of drugs have been seized in the last 70 months from the fiscal year 2016/17 to April of FY 2021/22. Among the drugs seized, marijuana and hashish, which are produced in Nepal top the chart. During the period, Nepal Police has seized 38,995 kg and 511 grams of marijuana. Out of which, 10,175 kg and 222 grams of marijuana were recovered in the fiscal year 2018/19 alone. In 70 months, 7,777 kg and 892 grams of hashish have been recovered.

Similarly, 536 kg and 770 grams of opium were seized during the same period. However, the record of heroin seized in the last one week broke the record of it being seized in 70 months. About 56 kg of heroin has been seized in the last one week. During the 70-month period, 53 kg 333 g of heroin and 26 kg 660 g of cocaine were seized. According to the police, heroin and cocaine were smuggled into Nepal from outside and most of them go to third countries via Nepal.

Of the 27,000 arrested, 982 were foreigners

In a period of 70 months, 27,000 people have been arrested in Nepal on charges of drug use and trafficking. Of them, 982 are foreigners and 26,462 are Nepali people. "Most of the foreign nationals are traffickers and smugglers of drugs to India through Nepal," said SP Jeewan Ram Shrestha, spokesperson of NCB. "Some are doing business inside Nepal and have been arrested as users."

SP Shrestha said that there are equal numbers of drug dealers and users in case of arrested Nepali people. According to a source, the number of Nepalis arrested in this way is significant. This has shown the alarming involvement of teenagers in drug trafficking and drug abuse.

"Looking at the crime situation in Nepal, drug addiction is the main reason," said SP Shrestha. "In this context, increasing drug use and trafficking will definitely increase crime."


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