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Gujarat prime drug-dealing target: NCB

July 06, 2006 17:55 IST
Gujarat has become a prime target for drug cartels operating from Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir, warns the state's Narcotics Control Bureau.

"Gujarat has always been a transit point for illegal drug consignments originating from the infamous 'Golden Crescent' countries including Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan", said Prafulsinh Sarvaiya, Superintendent of NCB.

"The concern is because Pakistan-based militant outfits and underworld gangs have now become a part of this drug cartel as it is an easy source of income to fund their activities", he said.

"However, now Gujarat is not just a transit point, it has become a target for drug suppliers operating from Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir", he added.

"If we look at our seizure records in the past few years, the trend clearly points to the fact that illegal consignments of hashish and opium are making their way into Gujarat in large quantities and are being sold in the state," Sarvaiya told PTI.

Just this year, the NCB, in four separate seizures, have made a haul of over 70 kilograms of charas most of which have originated in Kashmir and Pakistan, he said.

There are other similar seizures made by other agencies working against the drug cartels, the official added.

"The biggest one-time seizure of charas in the past few years was in January 2002 when about over 140 kilograms of the drug was recovered from Gujarat," Sarvaiya said.

"If one compares the figures from 2002, the quantity of drugs coming into Gujarat has increased which indicates the growing consumption among drug-addicts in the state", he added.

"Today, charas is consumed in large quantities by drug-addicts in Gujarat. The cheap availability of this drug is a contributing factor to its growing menace", said Sarvaiya.

"While a kilogram of opium costs just Rs 100,000, the same quantity of charas costs about Rs 50,000," he said adding charas and opium, which were natural forms of drugs, were much cheaper compared to the synthetic forms like heroin which cost Rs 15,000 for just 1 gram.

Avinash Nair in Ahmedabad
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