Kerala becoming a major hub for drug smugglers, says Excise Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh
It seems that Kerala has become a national and international market for the transportation of drugs alone, said Excise Commissioner.
KOCHI: Kerala is becoming a hub for transporting drugs to various countries, said Excise Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh. He told reporters here on Sunday that the recent reports from the state showed a rising trend in the usage of drugs, and several channels are being used to export drugs from Kerala to national and international markets.
“High-level meetings with central agencies were held more than once in discussing the measures to curb the use of drugs. Based on the discussions, the central agencies have intensified their search at sea, check-posts, and inter-state buses,” he added.
In two years, drugs worth Rs 700 crore have been seized by the excise department, which also included hashish oil and MDMA worth Rs 100 crore. In January and February, hashish worth Rs 40 crore and Rs 20 crore were seized from Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram. From Kochi, drugs worth Rs 35 crore were seized in April and May. Six months earlier, 4.5 kg of MDMA was seized from Nedumbassery airport.
“It seems that Kerala has become a national and international market for the transportation of drugs alone,” said Singh.
The other day, one Prasanth Kumar was taken into custody during his attempt to smuggle MDMA worth Rs 200 crore to Malaysia via Kerala. The Excise Commissioner, however, said the department is yet to complete the questioning of Kumar, who is the main accused in the smuggling case. “The reason for smuggling drugs through Kochi will be known only after further questioning the accused,” he said.
According to the commissioner, 900 cases were registered in 2014, which became 1,500 in 2015, and 3,000 in 2016. This indicates that the use of drugs is increasing in the state, he said.