Kerala excise dept deploys intervention unit in inter-state border areas
Move due to spurt in seizure of narcotics, including MDMA, being brought in from other states
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to thwart smuggling of narcotics from across the inter-state border in Thiruvananthapuram district, the excise department has deployed one of its mobile intervention units in the area to step up vigil. Of the four mobile units allotted, one of them has been put to service to cover four unmanned check posts in Neyyattinkara taluk. Of late there has been a spurt in seizure of narcotics, including MDMA, being brought in from other states, The consignments, according to the excise sources, are mostly being brought in via inter-state private buses. The smugglers also ferry drugs through unmanned checkposts in the cover of darkness. It’s in this backdrop that the excise department roped in the mobile intervention units, which will patrol the area round the clock.
Also, the excise sleuths have decided to further intensify search in private buses, mostly coming from Bengaluru. The department has found that the deadly MDMA was being supplied to the state solely from Bengaluru. “We are now regularly finding attempts to smuggle in MDMA from Bengaluru. Most of the carriers are students enrolled for professional courses in Bengaluru and nearby areas. Ahead of holidays and during weekends the smuggling activities intensify. For the carriers, it’s quick money,” said an excise source.
“We are already in touch with the private bus operators, who warn their passengers not to carry contraband on board. Even before starting the service and just before entering Kerala border, they clearly announce the passengers not to carry drugs to the state. Now, we have decided to enhance the scrutiny of passengers,” said the source.
On Saturday, the excise had seized 47g of MDMA from a 22-year-old nursing student who was travelling in an inter-state private bus. The youth was carrying drugs from Bengaluru to be sold to his clients in the state. The drug was purchased for Rs 50,000 and was to be sold for Rs 5,000 per gm in the state.
Though private buses are being examined for narcotics, the lack of facility to check public transport buses is crippling the effectiveness of the whole anti-drug drive, the excise source said. “There are about 10 inter-state private buses that operate service to the state. However, we have got several dozens of the state-owned road transport buses that cross the border. We do not have the capacity to check those buses and passengers. It’s a big drawback,” the officer added.
- Narcotic consignments mostly being brought in via inter-state private buses
- Smugglers also ferry drugs through unmanned checkposts in the cover of darkness
- Mobile intervention units to patrol the area round the clock