It is no longer a rarity to hear about enforcement agencies making large drug busts and hauling in huge supplies of party drugs. Inevitably, the first question on every youngster’s mind is “What’d they do with the good stuff?” Here’s the answer: they destroy it.
Usually, the contraband, including ganja, is destroyed under the supervision of a standing committee formed under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. The seized contraband irrespective of the nature is submitted to the court and a sample of that substance is sent to the laboratory for analysis to ascertain the quality. The designated court will have custody of the seized goods and hand it over to the police for safe custody. After hearing the case, the court passes orders depending upon the nature of the hazard of these narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, their vulnerability to theft, substitution, constraints of proper storage space and then order their disposal. The mode of disposal is reviewed periodically and ‘updated’. All the disposal is done at one shot.
Speaking to Express, a senior police official said that the committee which was formed under NDPS Act has members from the Narcotics Control Bureau, the State Forensic Department, the Revenue Department, and other expert members led by the Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise. “The committee is convened once a year with the details of the narcotics cases that are disposed of by all the courts in the State. Subsequently, they choose a designated place and date to destroy it. The seized contraband, including ganja, which is in the custody of the respective police stations is then transported in police vehicles to Chennai,” he revealed.
In cities like Chennai, destroying the contraband is a Herculean task owing to the dense population and the lack of thick forest ranges to burn it. However, the committee has identified a private chemical factory in Guduvancherry and the entire stock of the contraband is burnt in a furnace earmarked for disposal of such materials. Each consignment is weighed before getting thrown in the furnace and the confirmation of complete destruction is recorded. “Subsequently, the Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise issues a certificate of destruction, which is filed before the respective courts,” he said.
Years ago, the police used old tyres to burn the ganja to reduce the psychotropic effect, but now this has been done away with. The smoke from the furnace in the factory is released into the atmosphere through tall chimneys. There is another chimney in Kodungaiyur dump yard, which has also been used.
In case of seized rectified spirit, cops get the nod from the court and auction it locally to chemical companies or any other company that is authorised to use licensed rectified spirit for production as a raw material at any stage.