Gujarat new hub for drug trafficking? State's coastline preferred route of smugglers
The issue of drug smuggling into India through the Gujarat coastline was raised during a virtual meeting of the NCORD a few months back.
AHMEDABAD: It has become clear that Gujarat has emerged as a major route for narcotics trafficking.
Central and state agencies seized drugs worth Rs 2,000 crore off the coast on Saturday.
This is not an isolated incident. From January 2021 to February 12, 2022, the value of drugs confiscated in Gujarat was Rs 3,617 crore. The total volume was 68,984 kg, which amounts to an average daily seizure of 169 kg.
Notably, this does not include the whopping Rs 15,000 crore heroin haul from Mundra port in Kutch.
Police sources said marijuana worth Rs 16.54 crore and weighing 63,400 kg was seized. Incidentally, marijuana or ganja is not smuggled into India, but locally cultivated.
In terms of value, the biggest haul was of heroin. In all, 312 kg of heroin worth Rs 3,562 crore was seized. Synthetic drugs consumed mostly by youngsters is also common. Police seized 3,622 kg of those worth Rs 35.72 crore.
“The Gujarat coast has become a transit route for drugs smuggled into India. Earlier, these things were transported through Punjab. But these days, the drug mafia has changed the pattern. They are using the Gujarat route. From the recent seizure of drugs, it becomes evident that drug dealers land their consignments in Gujarat and then transport it to other states,” a senior police official said.
The issue of drug smuggling into India through the Gujarat coastline was raised during a virtual meeting of the NCORD a few months back. Sources said every state has been directed to create an anti-narcotics task force with a 24x7 helpline.
When asked, top police officers said they are making efforts to curb this problem.
“We have split the Special Operation Group (SOG) teams of every district into two. One team works exclusively on catching drug peddlers. Moreover, an officer of IG rank is heading the Anti-Narcotic Cell of CID crime and leading a dedicated team to catch drug mafia and peddlers in Gujarat,” an officer said.
An official said that the state government is planning to enhance coastal security to prevent dealers from Pakistan from smuggling drugs into India.
“We are working closely with the Coast Guard to thwart any attempt made by such elements,” he said.