NEW DELHI: There had been a major rise in the confiscation of contraband and narcotics in the Northeast. The Assam Rifles itself confiscated in 2021 drugs and contraband having much more value than what it confiscated in 2020.
As per the data provided by sources in Assam Rifles, the value of confiscated contraband was Rs 61 crore and narcotics Rs 82 crore in 2021. The value of contraband confiscated in 2020 stood at Rs 32 crore while the value of seized narcotics was Rs 48 crore.
In 2021, 37 weapons and warlike stores, including detonators, ammunition and explosives, were also recovered. The figure was five weapons and warlike stores in the year 2020. The number of smugglers apprehended in 2021 was almost the same with 187 as compared to 190 in 2020.
“There has been a sudden spike in narcotics and contraband smuggling in 2020 and 2021 and we expect that the trend will continue even this year,” a source pointed out.
While the force had confiscated contraband worth Rs 7 crore in 2018, the figure was Rs 12 crore in 2019. The value of narcotics recovered in 2018 and 2019 was Rs 10 crore and Rs 14 crore respectively. There were five apprehensions of weapons and warlike stores in 2018. The figure was four in 2019.
“As of 2022, narcotics and contraband amounting to around Rs 16 crore has been confiscated from the 13 smugglers apprehended,” the sources added. Five weapons and warlike stores have also been seized till now this year.
Assam Rifles is a paramilitary force under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and involved in counter- insurgency operations in the Northeastern states. Apart from internal security duties, the paramilitary force is also mandated to ensure security along the Indo-Myanmar border, a usual route of drug traffickers.