The drug trade is truly international as the opium is harvested in Lebanon, the heroin is manufactured in the south of France and the addict is in New York or Chicago. Cannabis and opium derivatives are said to be the greatest in demand.
The major sources of supply of opium, cannabis and their derivatives are the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East from where they sneak into Nepal, India, Bangkok and other countries. Myanmmar, Laos, and Cambodia form the 'golden triangle' of the drug trade in the Far East. Interestingly, drug smuggling is more lucrative than even gold smuggling! Going by a recent US drug report, over three per cent of the world’s population (more than 185 million) has used drugs.
Strict enforcement of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 is the only way to fight this menace. The Act which provides for a national fund to combat illicit traffic, drug abuse, identifying, treating and rehabilitating addicts, preventing abuse and educating the public, law also makes a distinction between a small quantity, less than a commercial one and a commercial quantity of drugs for inflicting punishment. This is welcome as professional dealers and couriers of drugs can then get the severe punishment they deserve. Special anti- drug enforcement cells are the need of the hour to help nip the problem in the bud. Utmost vigil at seaports and international airports is a must as well. Also, proactive enforcement by agencies working to curb the trade is important through a network of informants.
– ST Ramesh, retired DGP