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Exponential rise in seizure of drugs in India in last 5 years: NCB DG

Exponential rise in seizure of drugs in India in last 5 years: NCB DG
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New Delhi: There has been an "exponential" rise in the seizure of drugs in India in the last five years with the darknet and the maritime route emerging as the most preferred modes of trafficking, NCB Director General (DG) S N Pradhan said on Tuesday.

Effective enforcement activities have resulted in enhanced seizures of all major drugs in recent years, he said.

"In the last 5 years, the country has witnessed an exponential increase in seizure of heroin from 2,146 kg in 2017 to 7,282 kg in 2021 which is approximately a 300 per cent increase.

"Similarly, there is an increase of 172 per cent in seizure of opium, from 2,551 kg in 2017 to 4,386 kg in 2021, and 191 per cent increase in seizure of cannabis, from 3,52,539 kg in 2017 to 6,75,631 kg in 2021," the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) DG said.

Pradhan gave these numbers while inaugurating a hackathon named 'Darkathon 2022' here that aims to find solutions to counter drug trafficking through the darknet.

Darknet denotes the hidden Internet platforms that can only be accessed using specialised software and pre-configured communication protocols for anonymous communication. Drugs cartels and syndicates are known to use this to stay under the radar of law enforcement agencies.

Pradhan, according to an NCB statement, said a rise is being witnessed in drug trafficking through the maritime route and the darknet.

He said the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) World Drug Report 2021 also says that 94 per cent of the sales in darknet markets are related to drugs.

The hackathon is being organised in three phases and will conclude on April 22.

The problem statements or the aim of the exercise are: Crawling of the darkweb to identify and catalogue active and genuine darknet markets selling drugs, patrolling the darknet markets to identify drug traffickers on the darknet based in India and the drugs they offer for sale and digital foot printing of active drug traffickers on darknet based in the country.

The registration for the hackathon can be done at https://ncb.cyberchallenge.in, according to the NCB.

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