Monday, 26 June 2017

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With a 1067 km coastline, excellent air connectivity with Southeast Asian countries and major national and state highways that link Tamil Nadu with all parts of the country, the state is once again fast emerging as a major transit and and shipment point for drug smuggling cartels.

Statistics from enforcement agencies show that these cartels are smuggling increasingly larger quantities of contraband. These agencies seized 86 kg of ephedrine in the first half of 2017, or three times the amount confiscated in 2016. They have seized 115 kg of heroin across Tamil Nadu this year, dwarfing confiscations in the past six years and registered a 25% increase in amphetamine seizures from 2016.

The Tuticorin police seized  5kg of heroin three weeks ago and the Sri Lankan navy in April arrested Rameshwaram fishermen for possession of around 13kg of the drug. "The drug is mainly sourced from two areas: across Afghanistan, and the northern states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, from where the excess poppy legally cultivated by farmers for medicinal purposes," Bruno said.

A senior Tamil Nadu police officer, who had discussions with Sri Lankan narcotics control officials, says consumption of drugs in Sri Lanka is on the rise and the country's market is lucrative for those in the trade.
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