US-India cooperation in narcotics control

US-India cooperation in narcotics control

The virtual meeting of counter narcotics working group (CNWG) of the US and India took place in Washington. Discussion was held to strengthen bilateral cooperation in curtailing the illegal production, manufacturing distribution and trafficking of certain brands of pharmaceuticals and drugs as well as well as the precursor of chemicals used in manufacturing them. The meeting also discussed effective enforcement of laws of narcotics control and border management with certain South Asian narcotics producing and smuggling countries.

India lies in the middle of two major illicit opium production regions in the world, the golden triangle and golden crescent. According to a report by the United Nations office on drugs production and drugs crimes, India is one of the major hubs if illicit drug trade, ranging from old cannabis and opium to new prescriptions like tramadol and disguiser drugs like methamphetamine. The money from the drug trade is used to finance terrorism, human trafficking and illegal business. It has aggravated the criminal scene in India.

Indigenous productions of low grade heroin and prescription drugs are in growing demand from the neighbouring countries and international market, which added a new dimension to the problem of drug trafficking. Trends and patterns of drug trafficking in India demonstrate that there is gradual shift from traditional or natural drugs like cabins and opium towards symptomatic and synthetic drugs that are being smuggled out. Drugs trafficking take place overwhelmingly through land borders followed by sea and air routes. Given the vulnerability of borders to drug trafficking, India has tried to tackle the problem through a strategy of drug supply and demand remand reduction, which involves strict enforcement of laws, cooperation with voluntary organisations, securing its borders and coasts by increasing surveillance as well as the support of neighbouring countries.

On February, 15 2020, a two-day regional conference on combating drug trafficking was held in New Delhi. Apart from the inflow of other brands of narcotics by way of smuggling the possible manufacturing of methamphetamine in the pharmaceutical industry of certain countries of the region was also discussed. Two recent seizures of 371 kilogram and1, 555 kilogram by Indian authorities from two vessels in the Bay of Bengal are the glaring examples how big this new nightmare is. It necessitates both regional and international efforts to curb the production of methamphetamine. In certain countries of the region with thriving pharmaceutical industry the drug may be clandestinely produced and India’s own pharmaceutical and chemical industry may also be not immune to it. The magnitude of illicit drugs production is very big. It seems worthwhile that other countries are also included in CNWG.

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