NEW DELHI: Drugs trafficking through the maritime route in Bay of Bengal has emerged as a "new challenge" for India and Myanmar, NCB chief Rakesh Asthana said during a bilateral meeting with the country.
A government statement quoted him as saying that "high prevalence of drug abuse in the north eastern states abutting the Myanmar border is a major cause of concern for India".
The discussion was held during the India-Myanmar bilateral meeting on drug control cooperation that was held on Thursday over a web link.
The NCB, country's federal anti-narcotics agency, team was led by Asthana during the talks, while the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) of Myanmar was led by the commander of the drug enforcement division (DED)-cum-joint secretary of the CCDAC Police Brig-Gen Win Naing.
"Apart from porosity of the India-Myanmar border, drug trafficking through the maritime route in Bay of Bengal has emerged as a new challenge for both countries."
"The NCB has remained committed towards strengthening the existing mechanism of sharing information and assistance with Myanmar for combating the drug menace in the region," Asthana said during the meeting.
He also highlighted other issues, particularly the trafficking of heroin and amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) in the country.
The statement said Naing spoke on the "growing threat of the production of yaba tablets (methamphetamine) which has caused a grave concern in the region, even though the cooperation mechanism between Myanmar and India has been enhanced over the past years".
The Myanmar official urged India to develop frequent information exchange on trafficking of drugs and precursor smuggling activities at every level.
"Both countries agreed on the exchange of intelligence information in a timely manner to conduct follow-up investigations in drug seizure cases, new psychotropic substances and their precursors," it said.
"They also agreed to conduct border level officers and field level officers meetings on a regular basis to strengthen the existing cooperation on drug law enforcement," the statement said.
It was also decided to exchange information on "illegal entry and exit points of illicit drug trafficking on the Myanmar-India borders" and information on technology being used to interdict drug trafficking.