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    Around 100 million Indians consume drugs like cocaine and cannabis, says narco top cop

    Around 100 million Indians consume drugs like cocaine and cannabis, says narco top cop

    Around 100 million Indians consume drugs like cocaine and cannabis, says narco top cop
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    By StoryTailors  IST (Updated)

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    Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Deputy Director-General (Operations) Sanjay Kumar Singh said drug traffickers are increasingly using the anonymous-parcel route, more so after the COVID pandemic. Check the graphic for drug bust details as of May 25, 2022.

    The consumption of drugs and narcotic substances like heroin, cannabis and other opioids has increased significantly in India, one of India’s top narcotics cops has claimed. Sanjay Kumar Singh, Deputy Director-General (Operations) at Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), said drug abuse among the youth has also increased.

    “I can say that the consumption of drugs among the youth is increasing. I am not sure about the exact number, but I think roughly around 10 crore (100 million) Indians consume drugs. It used to be around 2 crore (20 million) 15 years ago. My sense is that, yes, drug consumption is increasing,” said Singh in an interview with Moneycontrol.com.

    Singh’s statements corroborate data from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, which estimated the number of opioid users in India at 23 million in 2018, a 600 percent increase since 2004. The number of cannabis users stood at 31 million in India. The ministry also found that heroin, pharmaceutical opioids, and opium were the most commonly-abused opioids in India.

    Singh said after the COVID-19 pandemic, traffickers have found new strategies and ways to circumvent the system. The use of anonymous parcels found a lot of adoption among the illicit traffickers.

    “We saw a growing trend of use of parcels through courier services to traffic drugs. This is easy because there is anonymity. You place the order online or on darknet sites where tracking is not very easy. We have seized several such parcels at the airport and at the centres of courier agencies,” said Singh.

    The NCB had confiscated 300 such parcels in 2021 compared to just 60 in 2019.

    “We have sensitised courier companies and asked them to maintain details of the seller and receiver. We are now asking them to insist on proper KYC and OTP-based verification, so that the identity of the consigner is known,” said Singh on the steps taken by the agency to tackle the issue. 

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