Drug in times of demonetisation: Supplies dry up along with cash
Thirty five days after the demonetisation drive, Delhiites are not the only ones bearing the brunt of cash crunch. Drug peddlers across the city have reported a huge dip in their profits as the trade is completely paralysed due to the note ban.
Marijuana smugglers who have hitherto depended on supply from Andhra, Orissa and Bihar have told Millennium Post that the drug supply has dried up and they are solely dependent on stocks that were bought before November 8.
Yousuf, a 57-year-old marijuana peddler, operating out of Dwarka Sector 1 area said: “As soon as the government announced the move, all of my customers just vanished. I could not look after the business as I had to send four of my daughters back to my native place in West Bengal and had to stand outside ATMs regularly and now, all of my stock has started to dry up.”
He added: “People think I am a low life criminal but I am not. What people don’t know is that I have always helped out my community by assisting my neighbour with his repair works. I have also donated money for local weddings and funerals. Just yesterday (Monday), I had donated Rs 5,000 to the local dargah and plan to dole out more. If you ask me, I want to get out of this business,” said Yousuf. He is not the only one who is bearing the brunt of the move as many other peddlers operating next to Matarani temple in Dwarka area told Millennium Post that they had been scouring the Capital for their wholesale supply of narcotics but to no avail.
“I have been to Nizamuddin, Shahdara, Taimoor Nagar, Mangolpuri, Badarpur, Subhash Nagar and various other places. They (wholesalers) are refusing to supply us anymore as they claim that the police have tightened security and many transactions are yet to be complete and due to the non availability of cash, they are all in the pipeline,” said Yogesh, a narcotic dealer operating in the area for the past 8 years.
Confirming the same, Special Cell sources say: “We have seen a drastic dip in the narcotic activities. The chatter that we hear these days is how they are all fretting over transactions which are yet to be completed and many courier payments are yet to be undertaken. I do think that demonetisation had a role in this development.”
However, Yogesh’s associate, or ‘Chotu’ in the area added that business may start picking up as now customers have started to visit them. He claims that due to cheap price of drugs, addicts are able to afford it despite the crunch. “In the nearby locality, the price of marijuana has shot up by Rs 100. But we thought of just giving our customers the product at the same price, although we have drastically reduced the quantity,” he said.