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Hindi words in 'criminal slang'

December 20, 2004 11:13 IST

In attempt to crack criminal codes, the Israel police has published a "Dictionary of Criminal Slang" with certain Hindi words like 'charas', 'ganja' and 'chillum' finding a place in it.

"Some of the terms we have collected are taken from everyday life, from the world of young people, from the army, and even from backpackers in India," Chief Superintendent of police (research division), Orit Heiman, told daily Ha'aretz.

"A lot of words in the dictionary come from English, Arabic and Hindi," Heiman said.

"In the area of drugs, for example, we have speed, grass, crise from French, ...from Arabic come hashish, kef and sutul (both connoting "high").. and from Hindi, there is charas and ganja, Indian drugs, and chillum, a pipe for smoking hashish", she said.

"Crime slang is very dynamic, reflecting the criminals' ideas, values and occupations," she told the daily, asserting the need to learn them in order to crack criminal codes.

A hundred copies of the dictionary containing 800 enteries will be distributed at first to the investigative units to assist them in deciphering tapped phone calls or for interpreting suspects' testimony, the report said.

The research department of the division believes that the knowledge of these words will help the police fathom hidden purposes in a suspect's conversation, it said.

The dictionary is likely to be updated in a few months, and a computer version is also being planned to make it more accessible, it added.

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