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DRUG TRADE DYNAMICS IN INDIA

Molly Charles*

Project Undertaken for the Max Planck Institute of International Criminal Law, Germany and RAND, USA

Special to DrugSTRAT



Acknowledgement

This study would have been not possible without the willingness of individuals to share their experiences with the hope that it would benefit the nation.  

The process of data collection in Mumbai was facilitated by A.A. Das; Rarry, M. Singh facilitated in establishing contacts with lawyers working in the field and Annie Mangsatamba facilitated the data collection from Manipur.  

Among the NGOs willing to share their information were NARC, Mumbai, Kripa Foundation, Mumbai, BMC De-addiction Centre, Mumbai, and Integrated Women and Community Development Centre, Imphal (Manipur). Dr. Bachav, Mr. Gabriel Britto, Dr. Menon, Dr. Suresh Kumar, Dr. Harish Shetty and Dr. Sameera Panda gave their insight on the issue based on years of experience in the field. Ashita Mittal of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Delhi) facilitated interaction with experienced persons in the field, who gave their time and insights that gave shape to this research report. Andrew Mohan Charles edited this report to make it more readable. 

To expert insights of Dr. Letizia Paoli, Dr. Peter Reuter and Dr.Victoria Greenfields that helped in finalising this report, in addition information collected by Dr. Letizia Paoli during her visit to India proved valuable in strengthening this research report.  

Molly Charles

 


Table of contents

I. Introduction

II. Location

III. Methodology, its Limitation and Data sources

IV. Different Sources for Heroin

V. Drug Markings as identification indicators

VI. Export from different locations

VII. Presence of Stock Piling

VIII. Purity and Price

IX. Street-level Drug dealing

X. Structure of Groups and profiles of persons involved

XI. Total Drug Traded in the country

XII. Drug Trade in Mumbai

XIII. Users Dimension

XIV. Drug Enforcement Agencies

XV. Conclusion

NOTES


DRUG TRADE DYNAMICS IN INDIA

I. Introduction

Understanding the various aspects that govern the drug trade can provide a better comprehension of the issue and indicate the relevance of the strategies used for controlling the drug trade. Within the context of India, drug trade is determined by socio-cultural factors, historic reality, geographic location, political conditions and exposure to new derivative and synthetic drugs through advancement in pharmacology have all contributed to the existing patterns of drug use and trade in the country. Against this background to understand the dynamics of drug trade in India the study focuses on the various sources for drugs, specifically heroin; export of drug trade route selected; purity and price of the psychoactive substance, quantity of drug traded in the country; drug dealing in urban settings and street level marketing and the limitation of existing law enforcement officials. This paper through primary and secondary data sources focuses on the complexities of the drug trade scene in India, and tries to arrive at an estimation of the opiates and opioids consumed locally from different sources and the possible extent of export that occurs from different parts of India.

The study highlights the presence of drug trade, which is governed by socio-cultural and political local reality; it also indicates how changes in local reality affect the drug trade dynamics. While the routes, mode of trade, consumption patterns and type of psychoactive substances traded in changes, there has been limited impact on the quantum of drug trade within the country. Even India has evolved to being identified as a source country for heroin, the impact of international political changes on Indian drug trade situation has been limited. Local production of pharmaceutical products has created scope for expansion for the types of drugs traded in illicitly. At present, derivative and synthetic products have entered the drug trade market along with traditional substances, such as cannabis and opium that till two decades ago governed the drug trade in India.

II. Location

Given the diverse socio-cultural reality and varied exposure to trade from other countries the study selected different locations in the country. It included Kota and Amritsar and Chandigar and Gawlior in the North and central part of the country; Chennai in the Southern region; Manipur in North East and the cities of Mumbai and Delhi.

Map of India

III. Methodology, its Limitation and Data sources

Methodology selected for the study was qualitative with majority of the data being collected through in-depth interviews on specific issues based on the profession and area

of work. Data collected through observation has been limited to street level drug dealing as the time and resources limited use of observation technique to collect data. With regard

to secondary data sources content analysis of relevant judgement under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 (NDPS Act 1985) that came for disposal at the High Court and Supreme Court were undertaken. Accessibility to data limited the insights that could be drawn for detailed information got through Sessions court is not available in cases that come for disposal at the High Court and Supreme Court.

Data were collected from primary and secondary sources. The informants interviewed for the study were law enforcement officials, lawyers, researchers, health professionals, drug users, community workers and small time dealers. The total number of national law enforcement officials and lawyers interviewed were 20, international law enforcement officer, liaison officials 2, head of cultural affairs in an international agency, professionals from health field 7, users of heroin and other hard drugs 30, petty dealers and other informants 5.

The process of data collection from informants across the country is time consuming, and given the time constraints, the data for understanding local level drug dealing reality were collected from one locality in an urban city. This was done to gain information on nuances of intricate drug trading aspects. For further verification data were crosschecked with informants from law enforcement agencies.

The time restriction on data collection process necessitated greater dependence on secondary data sources, in addition to review of literature on the subject, all the judgements of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1985)[1] for the years from 1985 to 2001 were analysed. These judgements were limited to those cases that came for disposal at the High courts and Supreme Court in India.

With regard to data on pattern of heroin consumption, data were collected from 737 case records of inpatient admission made at a treatment in centre in Mumbai, along with in-depth interviews with drug users; used to make an estimation of the quantity consumed per day, duration of use, types of drug used, mode of consumption and daily expenditure on drugs.

IV. Different Sources for Heroin

From the late seventies and eighties when heroin made its presence felt in Indian market, the official stand has been to highlight the role of India as a transit country, for drugs came from the bordering states close to Pakistan/Afghanistan in the north and Myanmar in the North East. Through the years the factors that shape drug trade in the country has changed even though the political and official stand continues to focus on transit of drugs via India to other countries, this is reflected in the reports from Narcotics Control Bureau[2]. Data collected through secondary sources (media and Cases under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985) and primary data through interviews and observation indicate that there are three different sources for opiates either used in the country or traded to other countries; they are from South West Asia, South East Asia and Indian Heroin[3].

The source of the drug is determined by geographical location of seizure, purity of the substance seized, markings on the drug packets and the manner in which it is packed. From the total seizure made in the country, till 2001, `SWA” and `SEA” accounted for 30-40%, and in the year 2002[4] it came down to five percent. In case of seizures of South West Asia (SWA) origin the most susceptible entry points are the border areas of Punjab, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat. The trade occurs through border areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan over land; in case of Punjab it occurs both through land and river routes, difficult to monitor; and the long coastal line of Gujarat, along with numerous creeks and inlets that provide convenient landing spots for sea crafts[5]. Heroin seizures of Afghan origin accounted for 64% of the 1257kgs seized in the years 1996-1997, it came down to 35% of the total seizures for the year 2000 and 21% of a total of 889kgs seized in 2001[6]and 5% of the total 933Kgs seized for 2002.

Geographical locations that are most vulnerable to drug trade from SEA are the states of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Mizoram in the North Eastern regions. The seizures made from this area have been minimal and it accounts for less than one percent of the heroin seizures made in the country[7].The drug brought in is meant for local consumption in seven north eastern states of the country.

The third source for heroin from within the country is not given importance by the Narcotics Control Bureau. As per the Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report, 2002 there is some extent of diversion from licit cultivation and also from legitimate production of chemicals that play as role in processing of heroin. Data collected from informants on drug trade – Indian law enforcement officials, international law enforcement officials, liaison officers, Head of cultural affairs in an international agency and lawyers working in the area, researchers in drug trade, drug users, drug dealers and health care professionals – indicate otherwise.

According to them from the early nineties Indian heroin has been catering to the needs of local users. Head of cultural affairs in an International agency indicated that from the late 1980s the world demand for Indian opium increased because of closure of the northern Afghanistan border and reduction in Afghan opium.

According to Narcotics Control Bureau Report drug seized in the country has been classified broadly into four categories, South West Asian, South East Asian, Local and Unknown source (NCB, 1992). In the year 1992, the break up for drug seized from different sources were South West Asia 74%, South East Asia, 1.3%, Local 3.4% and unknown source 21.3%. The subsequent years the percentage of seizures was only mentioned for SWA source but SEA source seizure continued to be reported as minimal. If, based on the assumption the seizure from SEA is minimal, the percentage of SEA is generally considered around 2 a percent, rough inference of the percentage of seizures from different sources can be made as follows which is given in tabular form based on data provided in National Control Bureau Annual Reports.

Table No: I[8]- Heroin Seizures in the Country from different Sources

Year

Total Seizure (KGS

Percentage of total heroin seizures

   

SWA Heroin

SEA Heroin

Unknown or Indian Source

1995

1681

50%

2%

48%

1996

 

64%

2%

34%

1997

 

48%

2%

50%

1998

655

37%

2.14%

60.86%

1999

861

35%

2%

63%

2000

1240

21%

2%

77%

2001

889

22.3%

1.3%

77.7%

2002

933

5%

1%

94%

Of the total seizures made in the country, there has been a steady increase in the percentage of heroin from unknown source. In the year 1996, there was a reduction in heroin reported as being from an unknown source but the share of heroin from SWA origin increased the same year. In the year 2002 the total seizure of heroin was 5% from Pakistan (originating from Afghanistan and routed via Pakistan) and 1% from Myanmar. This accounts for only6% of the heroin seized in that year and there is no mention as to where the remaining 94% of heroin come from. This unaccounted source, as the interviews indicate would be from Indian source, which in the year 2002 may account for 94% of the total seizure made. It is possible that with reduction in drug from SWA came through Taliban efforts, environmental factors, change in regime in Afghanistan and state of alert along India Pakistan border. The last aspect was specified by local informants. At the same time there has been increased supply from unknown sources which probably is diversion from local licit cultivation or from illicit cultivation itself, though illicit cultivation cannot account for such large discrepancies. Data collected through interviews and media articles indicate that there is a significant extent of diversion form licit cultivation.

To elaborate further on the presence of different sources for heroin, seizure data and information on trade collected through primary and secondary data is presented below.

IV. I. Trade from Pakistan/Afghanistan

From the late seventies heroin processed from Afghani opium has been routed via India for export to other countries. The border areas along the states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir have been utilised for this purpose. During the last decade especially after the Kargil war the trade through border areas have come down. Far more than drug enforcement efforts the state of alert maintained during tension between India and Pakistan are stated to be the reason for this reduction. The NCB Annual report (2001-2002) also cites the military build up at along the India- Pakistan border as the reason for reduction in influx of drugs from South West Asia.

As part of the national efforts to reduce drug trade, Indian government has set up an electrified fence along the border areas, where terrain is conducive for the same. This expensive proposition has modified the strategies adopted by the drug dealers to smuggle drug across the borders. Prior to electrification heroin/opium was brought along with other smuggled items on unaccompanied camels. These camels were made addicted to the drug and trained to reach specific spots where they would be given their next dose on arrival. With electrification, people have been carrying drugs through underground tunnels across the border. Another method used has been to throw drug parcels over the fence and certain individuals have specialised in this activity.

This pattern of drug trade was indicated with the seizure of 79.180Kgs of charas (hashish) by Rajasthan Police at Jaisalmer on 13th April 1994. The consignment was kept in gunny bags and carried on the back of camels. Whereas on 25th May 1996 the Border security Force, Amritsar seized 20 packets of heroin weighing 19.190Kgs at BOP on Indian- Pakistan border. The packets which bearing the markings 999, 555, HBSAG and ITTAFAG factory were thrown across the fence from Pakistan side to the Indian side.

While enforcement activities focus on land border control, trade through open terrain or trade by sea and rivers continued unperturbed even during period of alert. During the recent period of tension when trading was stopped with Pakistan across the land border, trade continued through sea ports of adjacent states, this led the local people asking about the relevance of such decisions which favoured the trading communities in neighbouring states and destroyed the livelihood of many in the state of Punjab. The relevance of this venture is also questionable when arms smuggling and drug trade can take place through sea routes. According to International liaison officers reports indicate heroin being brought on small boats to Gujarat, in order to bypass fences along land border.

As per the NCB, Annual Report, 1995, Gujarat owing to its long coast line and presence of numerous creeks and inlets, provides convenient landing spots for sea craft. Proximity to Karachi, Pakistan”s main entry port also renders the coast sensitive to trafficking. In a significant case 10 Pakistani Nationals were arrested in Sri-Creek area in a case involving seizures of 20Kgs of charas along with arms and ammunition. The proximity of the desolate Kutch and Bhuj regions in Gujarat with access through its coastal areas make it sensitive to smuggling and drug trade activities.

On a recent visit to the area, it was seen that as result of tension there were land mines laid along the land border[9] with Pakistan outside the electric fence and this restricted drug trade drastically. According to international liaison officers at times land mines have caused accidental death of people and next to them heroin packet have been found. In the beginning of 2003, the state of alert was revoked and de-mining started drug trade also began. The customs agency in the area on the 6th Feb 2003, seized 5kgs of Pakistani heroin from across the BSF Gate which comes under Jalalabad Sector in Ferozepur district. The five bags bearing the markings “555” had to be dug from the field belonging to an Indian, about 150 meters beyond the fencing. The owner of the field was innocent so was not arrested and nor were any other arrests made.

Narco terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir has been a pet topic for most media articles and government publications it seems an exaggeration though some link may exist. The cultural head of an International agency stated that there is no proof of links between drugs and terrorism activity. According to NCB reports of the years, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, all have emphasised the role of Border States (Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab) with Pakistan for drug trade and also on links between drug trade and arms trade. In the year, 1995, there was a rise in seizures of heroin and hashish of South West Asian origin in Jammu and Kashmir sector of India- Pakistan border. As much as 457Kgs of heroin was seized in this sector and it was 54% of the drug seized of SWA origin and 27% of all heroin seized in the country. Some bulk seizures of heroin were, seizure of 120Kgs heroin in Samba sector on 25-10-1995 and 80Kgs heroin on 20-11-1995 in R.S. Pura sector. In case of Punjab, the sensitive areas are Amritsar, Ajnala and Gurdaspur sectors. According to NCB, 1996, the maximum quantity of heroin of South West Asian Origin occurred in Punjab around 212Kgs. This trend continued in 1997 and seizure in Punjab for the year was 372Kgs of heroin. In the same year, on the air route from Afghanistan to Raja Sansi Airport, Amirtsar there were four cases of seizures totalling to 51Kgs of heroin at the airport. It also led to arrest of seven Afghan nationals. The following year at Raja Sansi Airport, Amritsar 41Kgs of heroin was seized and one Afghan and four Indians were arrested.

On 5-10-1995, officers of Punjab Police and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Amritsar jointly laid naka[10] Verka Bye Pass crossing on Amritsar- Pathankot road and intercepted one maruti car occupied by two persons. On search, two bags were recovered from the dicky (boot) of the car. On examination of the bag, 39 packets of heroin of 1kg each were seized. Each packet was covered in Khakhi coloured paper envelope wrapped by a polythene bag and was further packed in white coloured cloth bearing the markings “555” and some inscriptions in Urdu. Both the occupants were arrested and the vehicle was seized.

While the area is vulnerable to drug trade, incident of Joint arms and narcotics seizure are not significant. The NCB from1995 and 1997 report small quantities of arms seizures though the quantity of drugs and RDX (the chemical used in preparation of bombs) are significant. Some of the examples are given below.

On 29-7-97, officers of BSF and Punjab Police jointly conducted a search operation near Ferozpur and noticed two persons crossing over to India. On being challenged the intruders fired upon the search party and one person fled towards Pakistan. The other two person fled towards India were arrested and search party seized 36Kgs of heroin, 1 AK Rifle, 2 AK magazine, 33 rounds of ammunition 20Kgs of RDX, 1 wireless set, 19 detonations, 6 time pencils, 2mts cordex and 1 human bomb switch (remote control) from them. One Pakistani and one Indian were arrested.

On 28-8-97, officers of Customs, Amritsar conducted a search operation near village Samoval on India Pakistan border and noticed three persons carrying head loads crossing into India side. On being challenged by naka party, the intruders tried to run away leaving the head loads. However, two of them were apprehended. Search of the area resulted in recovery of 3 jute bags containing 48Kgs of heroin in 48 packets, 5Kg of opium in 10 packets, one pistol, one magazine, 6 live cartridges. Of the 48 heroin packets, 18 bore the markings “77/88” and 30 bore the markings “315” and 10 opium packets bore markings “Lyons original”. The suspected source of the seized article was Pakistan. Two Pakistani nationals were arrested in the case.

During the Sikh movement[11] there were arrests of individuals alleged to be supporters of the movement dealing in both arms and drugs. It is stated that when a person wanted arms he had to courier 10kgs of heroin along with arms, it was a package deal. In case of Jammu and Kashmir it is stated that there may be a few individuals who make trips to bring drugs across the border but they are just a handful. At the same time corruption among certain law enforcement agencies in this area facilitates drug trade. There have been cases of personnel from certain agencies being caught for the same and some of them even carried drug consignments to the cities to make a better deal[12].

There is an assertion made that recent political turbulence has not reduced opium cultivation or processing in the region, only changed it. Apparently since the disturbance in Afghanistan cultivation and processing has increased in Pakistan and also in cultivating areas of Afghanistan close to Pakistan border. This, according to sources, is substantiated by the seizure of 11,000 litres of Acetic Anhydride from 330 containers in Jalabad, Afghanistan in 2003. In an attempt to paint a success story of Afghanistan the international agencies stationed there are stating that the seized item were Nitric Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide respectively. According to sources the former is useless for Afghans and a small fraction of the latter could be enough to meet the requirements of all Afghanistan hospitals for a year or more. Pakistan produces these chemical for its own requirement. Therefore the only logical explanation for 330 containers routed from Bandar Abbas, then through Iran to Jalabad can only be explained in terms of need for Acetic Anhydride for processing heroin from opium.

Data indicate that drug trade through Pakistan to India has been reduced, though it may change with moves to extend friendship across borders of the two countries. Whatever the case may be the heroin that came across this border has been meant mainly for export and the need of local users have been largely met by other sources. International officials indicate Afghan heroin is too expensive for Indian users and it is largely meant for export to other countries[13].

Examples to illustrate the presence of drug trade via borders

According to the NCB Annual Report, drug trade continues across the border of India and Pakistan, which has traditionally been most vulnerable to drug trafficking. In the year 2001, of the total quantity of heroin seized in the country (889Kgs) around 184.517 Kg (21%) was from South West Asia. As per the state wise break up given for heroin seizure the same year, it was 51.460Kgs from Punjab, 40.008Kgs from Gujarat, 39.863Kgs from Delhi, 30Kgs from Rajasthan, 15Kgs from Jammu and Kashmir, 7.00Kgs from Maharashtra, 3.00Kgs from Haryana and .850Kgs from Karnataka. In the year 2002, the major seizures made were in Rajasthan (38.21%), Punjab (5%), and Jammu and Kashmir (1.75%). The total seizures made for SWA heroin was only 45Kgs.

Case Examples

On 5.1.2001, acting on specific information officers of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Amritsar (Punjab) Regional Unit intercepted a truck at Naka point of octroi post when the truck was coming to Jalandhar from Phagwara side. A search of the truck resulted in the recovery of three packets of heroin from a cabinet in driver”s cabin and 15 packets containing heroin from a LP Gas Cylinder lying in the tool box on the roof of the truck. The net weight of the recovered heroin was 17.900KGs and the suspected source of the drug was Pakistan. The driver of the truck was arrested.

On 25.1.2001, based on specific information officers of “G”Branch of BSF Jodhpur carried out search operation near BOP Navapur, they observed suspicious movements about five hundred yards of border fencing. When the party advanced towards the spot the suspect placed his back load into the bushes and ran away. On search of the area a plastic bag of blue colour was found inside the bushes. It contained 15 packets of heroin and each packet contained 1Kg of heroin. The suspected source of the drug was Pakistan.

The officers of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence Amritsar, on 25-10-2001 intercepted a maruti car at Conatiner Freight Station (OWPL) Ludhiana, Punjab. The search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery and seizure of 15.000KGs of heroin. The drug was concealed in the door panels of the car. Two persons were arrested in this connection. The suspected source of the drug was Pakistan.

On 19-3-2002 officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Amritsar intercepted one Contessa car at G.R. Building, sector 17, Chandigrah Punjab. Search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery and seizure of 5kgs of heroin. The drug was concealed in the dashboard of the car. Two persons were arrested in this connection and the suspected source of the drug was Pakistan.

In another incident on 26th July 2002 Jammu & Kashmir police intercepted nine persons at Main Chawk Baramulla and seized 1.750kgs of heroin from their possession.

The officers of the Rajasthan police apprehended on 20th January 2002 a person at Barmer and seized 27.300kgs of heroin from him. He was arrested and the suspected source of the drug was Pakistan.

IV.II. Trade from Myanmar to North-East India

Heroin available in the North eastern States of India is called “No.4” and it is brought in through the borders of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. Heroin trade in this region is meant to meet the demand of the local population and hardly ever gets transported to foreign destinations through India. At the same time it has been indicated by an International law enforcement official far more trade than accepted is done from this sector and nobody gives it much attention. There have been reports of illicit cultivation of opium in this region especially in the state of Arunachal Pradesh[14]. In the year 2002, the Central Bureau of Narcotics investigation led to destruction of 144 hectares of illicit poppy cultivation in Lohit area and 74 hectares in upper Siang area of Arunachal Pradesh.

According to the Annual Report of NCB, 2001-2002, the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram have been vulnerable to the trafficking of heroin from Myanmar. As a result of the proximity to the Golden Triangle these states have been vulnerable to trafficking of high purity heroin flowing in small quantities. The route for trafficking from Myanmar into the north-eastern states of India is through Moreh and Churchandpur in Manipur, Mokochung in Nagaland and Champai in Mizoram.

The national data for 2001 indicate that of the total quantity of heroin seized in the country only 1.3% or 12.150 KGs was seized from this region. The state wise seizure figures for the region was 2.440Kgs for Assam, 3.580Kgs for Manipur, 1.030KGs for Meghalaya, 3.670Kgs for Mizoram, 0.030Kgs for Nagaland and 1.400KGs for Tripura.

The report states that in this area trafficking occurs in smaller quantities and is therefore difficult to detect. Besides, the existence of traditional cross border ethnic links, lack of restriction of movement, inhospitable terrain and the problem of insurgency (assertion for political freedom) complicates the situation.

The use of heroin has been noted in States of Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram from the late nineteen seventies. It is in this area that injecting mode of use became prevalent at first in India and as a result spread of HIV among users is a major concern. In addition to drug use the presence of frequent political tension, absence of adequate steps towards development of the region and sense of social, economic and political isolation faced by the local people only complicates the drug use and trade situation.

The initial focus of the local people with regard to substance use was on alcoholism, especially in areas with heavy army presence where it was not uncommon to have male members of the family disappear after being picked up in a drunken stupor. Compared to alcohol use, drug users created less social nuisance and spent time at home, it was only later that the hazards of drug use came into the picture.

Through the years the pattern of use in the area has changed, injecting became an important mode of consumption from the eighties and in the nineties younger individuals began to use drugs. Since the nineties other drugs of abuse have entered the region along with heroin “no 4”, the abuse of cough syrup containing codeine and benzodiazepines have increased in the north eastern part of India. The trend of trading in these substances has been noted in other parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. For the last four years in North Eastern states there has been a gradual shift towards use of Spasmoproxyvon[15], a synthetic opiate from India. In addition to heroin other drugs that found their way to drug trade are methamphetamine, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.( Data based on interviews with treatment professionals and drug users). Data from treatment centres in Nagaland and Manipur indicate main substance abused is Propoxyphene[16].

The total amount of ephedrine seized in the two countries increased from less than 1,000kgs in 1998 to nearly 7,000kgs in 1999. In the year 2000 there were several seizures of methamphetamine in the borders of Myanmar. Production of these illegal drugs occurs along the borders of India and Myanmar. The smuggled amphetamine type stimulants are destined for large Indian cities and to a lesser extent, the illicit market of Europe[17].

The shift towards use of Spasmoproxyvon, from heroin was a result of scarcity of heroin in the local market in Manipur (North East). In Dimapur, a city in North East India, the pattern of injecting this opiate has been reported[18].

In between 1999-2000 there was a four week long bandh[19]along the National Highway 39. It created a disturbance in the regular distribution of heroin. Even though at that time many new peddlers sprung up during the period to meet the local need, some of the young users shifted to Spasmoproxyvon and as they enjoyed the first high with the changed substance, they continued its use even after situation normalised. Besides Spasmoproxyvon was less expensive and they found that remains of the first fix could be used again[20].

According to Drug Abuse Monitoring Systems (Siddiqui, 2002, in North Eastern States of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Assam and Tripura; propoxyphene is the main substance of use in Mizoram (25.2%) and Nagaland (47.3%); heroin the main substance of use in Manipur (32.2%) and in all other states the main substance of use alcohol. In Assam heroin use is 4.1% and in Meghalaya 1.7%, where as in Tripura other than alcohol and cannabis, sedatives (1.4%) are used. In Manipur other than heroin alcohol, inhalants is used by 7.1%; in Nagaland 7.7% use heroin and in Mizoram cough syrup is used by 19.8%.

According to NCB report 2002, significant quantities of ephedrine is smuggled out from India to Myanmar. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are used to manufacture methamphetamine. Myanmar is one of the world”s biggest producer of methamphetamines. The seizure of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in this sector was 654Kgs for 1999, 426kgs for 2000, 971Kgs for 2001 and 25Kgs for 2002. The reverse trade is in small quantities of ATS (methamphetamine).

In addition to ATS, pharmaceutical substances are used significantly in states of Mizoram and Nagaland. India has a large production capacity for pharmaceutical products with 25,000 pharmaceutical companies in existence in the country. The most common medicines that are abused are proxyvon, phensedyl, buprenorphine, diazepam, nitrazepam, lorazepam and tidigesic. Abuse of pharmaceutical drugs and the spread of poly drug use occur because of the lack of a uniform monitoring of compliance to prescription requirements. An indication of such abuse according to a health professional is the discrepancy between the legitimate medical requirement of these products and the high proportion of profits made on these substances by pharmaceutical companies. Given the political turmoil in certain states and presence of high rate of injecting behaviour in comparison to other states among those seeking treatment and the practice of sharing of needles only complicates this situation.

In the national sample the current percentage of users who reported injecting mode of intake is 9% and 14 % reported life time use. In the North Eastern States both for life time use and current consumption in Mizoram it is 76%; for Manipur 75% and Nagaland 51%. With regard to sharing of needles at the national level life time sharing of needles was reported by 8% and 4% reported sharing needles currently. In the North Eastern States of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland the percentage of is high (43-66%).

 

On 17.1.2001, officers of Assam Police, Khatkhati, O.P. District Karbi Anglong Assam intercepted a truck. A search of the truck resulted in the recovery and seizure of 792.000KGs of ephedrine which was concealed under other articles in the truck. Three persons were arrested in this connection.

On 10.2.2001, the officers of Assam Police Guwahati opened the bank locker no:12 of Canara Bank which was in the name of one of the accused and recovered and seized 0.249Kgs of heroin. The contraband drug was packed in white colour polythene packets marked as “Double UOGlobe Brand, 100%”. The suspected source of the drug was Myanmar. An Indica Car suspected to be used for drug trafficking was also seized. Four persons were arrested in this connection.

The officers of State Excise, Mizoram seized drugs on two different occasions on the same date (31.8.2001), 0.006Kgs of heroin and 0.080Kgs of heroin from two different persons in Aizwal. This indicates that as stated the seizures occurs in small quantity and this may be applicable to the trade in heroin too.

A flash raid in Arunachal Pradesh led to the destruction of poppy cultivation in Lohit and Upper Siang districts, which covered an area of 218 acres. The detection made possible by satellite imaging which helped the Central Bureau of Narcotics, customs and local police[21].

The report of seizures in Mizoram indicates that pharmaceutical substances are very much a part of the drug trade. On 29th July 2002, customs at Champai searched the hotel cum residence at village Pungtlang, Champai and seized 74.589kgs of ephedrine. Two Indians and a Myanmar national were arrested. The suspected destination for the drug was Myanmar.

On 24th February 2002, the state excise department of Mizoram seized 300 tablets of Nitrazepam from a Maruti car at Vairengto. Four persons were arrested In Imphal Manipur on 27-2-2002 the same agency seized 668 grams 7,128 amphetamine tablets from a person at Moreh in district Chandel of Manipur. The suspected source of the drug was Myanmar.

On 3rd July 2002, officers of customs preventive of Moreh, Manipur seized 15kgs of ephedrine hydrochloride from a vacant room of a hotel.

Other incidents of trade in Mizoram are seizures of 10,00 tablets of nitrazepam from a person by the State Excise at Vairengate and on 11th January 2002 officers of the same agency seized 2000 Nitrazepam tablets in the same locality.

On 24th February 2002, the State excise of Mizoram apprehended four persons At the Excise checkgate Virangate and seized 3000 tablets of nitrazepam The same agency again seized 3,000 tablets of Nitrazepam on 6th April 2002. (Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Reports[22])

IV.III. Trade from Licit Cultivation

Poppy cultivation is being undertaken in three states, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for medicinal purposes through the gum method. The allocation of total area for cultivation and production per year has varied, according to NCB reports for the year 2000, 1330 tonnes were produced from 32085 hectares; in 2001 around 775 tons was produced from 18,087 hectares and in 2002 around 1,055Kgs was produced from 101,844 hectares of land.

Poppy cultivation which flourished in the Malwa region under the British have been brought down as part of the government initiative to bring about control over drug situation in India. During the initial stages the strategies used to discourage poppy cultivation was to reduce the number of licensed farmers and decrease the price per kilo of raw opium by the government. The price of raw opium till a few years ago was Rs. 250 per Kilo (less than 5 Euros), certainly lower than the black market price for opium.

For undertaking licit cultivation, Central Bureau of Narcotics issues licenses to eligible cultivators for licit cultivation in the notified tracts of the three states, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, every year in the month of October. To facilitate the selection process the central government announces a Minimum Qualifying Yield (MQY) as certain number of kilograms of opium per hectare. The quantity fixed being based on previous years declared yield and it is mandatory for the cultivators to tender their entire produce to the government.

The calendar of activities for poppy cultivation and other related activities begins in October and ends in the month of September. The opium policy with regard to cultivation for the year is issued for the first time in mid October. Later measurement and test measurement of licensed fields takes place from December to February. The Lancing of the opium poppy starts in late February. The opium gum that is collected is to be weighed and entries made by the Lambardhar in February in Weighment Register. Lambardhar is often a village headman or a respected person in the village who is made the village opium headman. His verification activity starts from February along with verification of actual produce. Besides this 800 narcotic officers take two months to tape measure about 30,000 hectares of cultivated area (Bhattacharji, 2002[23]).

During the harvesting period the government maintains intensive preventive checks, road patrolling and surveillance till collection is completed by the government. Field analysis, weighment and procurement of opium activities start in early April. The collected opium is sent to the two opium processing factories at Ghazipur and Neemuch for the final analysis and drying and processing in the month of May.

The Government Opium and Alkaloid factories are under the independent control of the chief controller of Factories at Neemuch and Ghazipur, the headquarters is at Gawlior. A part of the annual harvest of opium (around 150-200 tones) is converted to alkaloids for supply to manufacturers of medicine. A large quantity of opium is exported in its raw form to other countries. In 2001 the quantities exported to various countries were U.S.A 452, 320Kgm; Japan 128,000Kgs; France 17,380Kgs, Germany 550Kgs; Switzerland 15Kgs and Sri Lanka 6Kgs.

From the total yield, around 70 percentage of raw opium is exported. In 2000-2001 of the total of 570 metric tonnes exported from the country, the United States imported around 400 tonnes. The main importers are two pharmaceutical companies in United States they process alkaloids from Indian raw opium and export it to different countries including India. As most countries who import raw opium from India have national regulations against importing processed alkaloids, this ensures that India can only export raw opium giving it little or no margin of the profits.

The annual revenue for India from the export of 500-600 tonnes of opium is only around Rs.200[24]-300crores annually. For the year 1998-1999 the export returns from agricultural and allied products was Rs.14,963crores[25]. Computation of the price at which per Kilo of opium is sold is around Rs. 4000 per kilo or 80 Euros per Kilo while illicit channel offers more than double this price.

The important alkaloids produced from Opium for commercial purposes are morphine, thebaine, noscapine, papaverene, and codeine. India imports codeine from the United States, though India has the know how to produce codeine in the country. The annual requirement of the country according to the drug controller is around 25 tonnes and the raw opium, left over after exports, can only produce 10 tonnes of codeine. In the end India buys Codeine for the manufacture of cough syrup and the revenue earned from national market is nominal, in 2000 – 2001 around Rs.83crores.

There is also the need to consider the medicinal requirement of raw opium for traditional systems of medicine as this is the only affordable form of medicine for a vast majority of the population. There is a need to consider rationally the need for extensive cultivation, as the recovery through export is not sufficiently justified considering the expenditure on processing, enforcement and import of finished alkaloids from the United States[26].

For the present as a result of support from America (2000) there has been an increase in the area under licit cultivation in the last 3-4years[27]. While in future as per American interest the policy will change, for there is indication that America has found alternative sources for codeine, this will led to America putting pressure on India to change its existing method of poppy cultivation. In Australia thebaine poppy licensed by Johnson and Johnson is already grown and soon the intention is to cultivate codeine based poppy as well. As internationally the demand for morphine has come down, the market for Indian opium may not continue. Under such circumstance America is very likely to put pressure to shift to poppy straw method of cultivation, which would be a disaster for India. Many people in the country depend on raw opium for medicinal preparation in traditional medicinal practices; and western medicine, even without the changes demanded by WTO are beyond the reach of the majority of the population. In addition to this is the need for codeine for Indian pharmaceutical companies and also questionable is the logic in restricting option of natural plant and forcing an self reliant country (given the knowledge base for processing most of the alkaloids required by the Indian Pharmaceutical companies) to depend on a product which has been licensed to a transnational company.

Besides, the presence of skill and know how about gum method of cultivation, the existing networks, the development reality of these States will contribute to strengthening illicit cultivation. It may further complicate Indian drug situation, for, there exist various forms of local consumption and it can not be wished away. The shift also may be lead more use of heroin rather than opium, which would be a disaster; for opium use has evolved certain non-formal norms whereby use has not become a major social issue in spite of the presence of this habit for over centuries.

 

Medical opium cake or powder is manufactured primarily to meet the requirement of the government medical store depots and other pharmaceutical concerns for purely medicinal purposes. The opium prepared for quasi-medical purposes is called “excise or akbari” opium. It is pure opium dried by exposure to the sun until the consistency is raised to 90 degree C[28].

The manufacture of excise opium is limited to the barest requirement of the various States in India for quasi-medical purposes, in consonance with the policy of the government of India to ban such consumption by 31st March 1959.

The supplies for such consumption within the country are, therefore, being progressively reduced at the rate of 10% of the supplies made during 1948-1949. The state quotas of excise opium base, therefore, been fixed by the Narcotics Commissioner in accordance with this policy.

At the beginning of each financial year, the Excise Commissioners of the various States in India submit their[29] annual indents for excise opium according to the quota fixed by the Narcotics Commissioner specifying the various district officers to whom supplies have to be given during the year. The supplies of excise opium to the State government is made on “no loss no profit” basis, the opium is subjected to an excise duty by the State governments.

 

The government issues licenses for poppy cultivation over small dispersed areas spread over three states. In a family only one person can receive the license for cultivation and there is limitation on the maximum area allowed for cultivation per farmer based on average yield per hectare, details given below:

Table: 2. Licensed area for cultivation based on yield

Yield of Opium Tendered by Cultivators in the Crop Year 2001-2001

Licensed area for the crop year 2002-2003

Up to 60Kgs/hectare

10 ares[30]

Above 60Kgs/hectare and

Up to 65Kgs/hectare

15 ares                

Above 65Kgs /hectare

20 ares

In all three states cultivation is undertaken in small land holdings, for as per the specification made for sanctioning of license based on yield per hectare. If the average yield of an year is taken as an example, for the year 2001-2002, the average yield for Madhya Pradesh was 57.560Kgs, for Rajasthan 57.150Kgs and 33.840Kgs for Uttar Pradesh, none of the States have yield above 60Kgs.

Tables 3. Details on State wise production of Opium

State

Opium Produced (tonnes)

Area (hectares)

No: of Cultivators

Rajasthan

503

8421

43,923

Uttar Pradesh

84

2137

11,098

Madhya Pradesh

468

7889

44,823

The Government has specified Minimum Qualifying Yield of opium for all three States as a part of regulating diversion of opium yields meant for legitimate purposes. The amount specified under minimum qualifying yield (MQY) is a political issue and it would be difficult to ensure MQY for the three licit cultivating states to be equivalent to the average yield (rather the official stated average yield, for different sources state the actual yield is more than the officially declared quantity). The table below provides details on variation between MQY and average yield of opium.

Table 4. Average Yields and MQY since 1980

Year

MQYs

Average Yield

 

Madhya Pradesh &

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Madhya

Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar Prasdesh

All India

1980-81

25

25

46.138

45.983

31.470

42.234

1981-82

25

25

38.733

40.512

31.036

37.621

1982-83

28

28

41.712

43.874

34.898

40.859

1983-84

28

28

27.387

32.301

33.821

30.844

1984-85

28

28

40.963

41.815

36.961

40.315

1985-86

26

26

36.422

36.524

38.342

36.892

1986-87

30

30

41.766

41.402

31.606

39.351

1987-88

32

30

41.062

39.727

22.181

37.571

1988-89

32

32

43.182

44.187

36.258

41.996

1989-90

34

32

41.464

41.277

29.699

39.428

1990-91

34

32

37.398

35.102

31.851

35.653

1991-92

33.5

31.5

44.428

45.392

40.671

44.216

1992-93

37

35

37.228

40.396

32.400

37.109

1993-94

40

38

43.570

46.582

35.480

43.150

1994-95

43

43

49.470

44.790

35.462

46.974

1995-96

46

46

48.445

48.247

21.023

47.652

1996-97

48

40

52.490

53.500

31.840

51.710

1997-98

48

40

26.288

41.695

32.146

33.139

1998-99

30

30

46.131

49.220

46.140

47.402

1999-2000

42

42

56.510

55.857

44.290

53.140

2000-2001

50

42

57.439

58.889

45.370

55.024

2001-2002

53

44

57.560

57.150

33.840

54.630

In 1980-1981 the minimum qualifying yield for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan was 25Kg/ha and at the same time the official average yield was 46.138Kg/ha for Madhya Pradesh and was 45.983Kg/ha for Rajasthan. The same year for Uttar Pradesh the MQY was 25Kg/ha and the official average yield was 31.470Kg/ha

In the year 1986-1987 ( Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act was passed in 1985) the MQY for Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh was 30kg/ha. The same year the official yield per hectare was 41.766Kg for Madhya Pradesh, 41.202Kg for Rajasthan and 31.606Kg for Uttar Pradesh.

During the period 1980-2002, in the state of Rajasthan the average yield per hectare except in case of a single year 1997-1988, has always been above the MQY stated for the state; in case of Madhya Pradesh except for two years the average yield per hectare has always been above the MQY specified; and for Uttar Pradesh for eight (from the total data available for 22 years) the average yield was below the MQY specified.

According to NCB report 1998, on November 1997, 30,000 cultivators went “on strike “ voluntarily relinquishing their licenses to demand that MQY be reduced for 1997-1998 season and the area of cultivation be raised. In response to this GOI replaced the cultivators by issuing 26,000 new licenses in three days and as a result the change did not affect licit cultivation of opium.

In 1997-1998, the government maintained the same MQY for the three states as per previous year, which were 48Kg/ha for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and 40Kg/ha for Uttar Pradesh. At the same time for the following year MQY was reduced to 30Kg/ha for all three states. On the same year the average yield was 46.131/ha for Madhya Pradesh, 49.220Kg for Rajasthan and 46.140Kgs/ha for Uttar Pradesh.

The discrepancy continued in the year 2001-2002, when the MQY for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan was 53Kg/ha and 44Kg/ha for Uttar Pradesh. At the same time the average yield for the year was 57.560Kg/ha for Madhya Pradesh, 57.150Kg/ha for Rajasthan. In the case of Uttar Pradesh the official average yield was lower than the MQY of 44Kg/ha.

The Indian government notification for opium cultivation in the year 2002 states that the eligibility for being granted license to cultivate would depend on having tendered an average yield of opium of not less than 53Kgs/hectare in the State of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and an average yield of 45Kgs/hectare of opium for Uttar Pradesh.

At the same it further elaborates that this condition would not be applicable to cultivators under the following categories:

•  Who ploughed back their entire poppy cultivation during the crop year 2001-2002, under supervision of the Government, in accordance with the provision in this regard.
• Those whose appeal against refusal of licence had been allowed after the last date of settlement in the crop year 2001-2002 or
• Those who cultivated poppy in the crop year 2000-2001 and were eligible for the license for the year 2001-2002, but did not voluntarily obtain the license for any reason, or who after having obtained license for the crop year 2001-2002 did not actually cultivate poppy due to any reason.
Other conditions put forward by the government to grant license were:
• A cultivator who did not in the course of actual cultivation, exceed the area licensed for poppy cultivation during the crop year 2001-2002.
• A cultivator who did not at any time resort to illicit cultivation of opium poppy and was not charged in any competent court for any offence under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and rule made there under and
• During the crop year 2001-2002, the cultivator did not violate any departmental instructions issued by the Central Bureau of Narcotics/ Narcotics Commissioner to the cultivator or did not adulterate the opium processed by him/her before while tendering the opium to the government.
• All cultivators who had cultivated opium poppy during the crop year 2001-2002 in areas less than the area licensed and/or who had cultivated opium poppy in a plot of less than 10 ares and/ or who cultivated opium poppy in more than two plots but tendered opium with the required Minimum Qualifying Yield and fulfilled other conditions of the opium licensing policy 2002-2003 will be given license for the crop year 2002-2003.
• A cultivator could sow opium poppy in not more than two plots.
• Notwithstanding anything stated above, the Government could allow an area more than 20 ares to Agricultural Research Institute or Agricultural Universities in the Opium growing State for research purpose.
• During the year 2000-2001 crop year licenses were given to 133409 cultivators for a total area of 26,684 hectares. However on account of draught and adverse weather conditions only 18106 hectares were actually planted by 102107 cultivators. The area actually harvested was 17155 hectares (96,435 cultivators) and the total yield was 935 M.T (at 70% consistency) or 727 M.T ( at 90 consistence). The average yield per hectare was 45.947 Kg in Uttar Pradesh, 56.365 Kg in Madhya Pradesh and 57.105 Kg in Rajasthan against Minimum Qualifying Yield of 44Kg in Uttar Pradesh and 52 Kg in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan respectively ( Narcotics Control Bureau – Annual Report 2001-2002).
• During October 2001-September 2002 crop season 133409 cultivators were licensed to grow opium in 26684 hectares. Of this only 19373 hectares were actually planted and the crop failed in 1286 hectares. The actual area harvested was 18087 hectares and 726 tons of opium at 90 degree consistency or 934 tons at 70 degree consistency. The average yield was 56.37Kgs in Madhya Pradesh, 57.38Kgs in Rajasthan and 36.084 Kgs in Uttar Pradesh (Narcotics Control Bureau – Annual Report 2001-2002).Degree of consistency or the moisture content in raw opium is determined when government purchases raw opium from the farmers. For large moisture content increases the weight of opium and based on the moisture content the price at which opium is purchased by the government differs.

IV.III.1. Cultivation and Related Important Activities

An elaboration of the various aspects related to the collection of opium is made as it can give an idea of the possible ways in which diversion can occur.

  • As not all capsules ripen at the same time, even in any one field, harvesting may last over two weeks.
  • Dry capsule chaff is also used and it contains about 0.25 percent to 0.5% morphine.
  • For proper agriculture selection of poppies for morphine production means taking into account not only the percentage yield of morphine, but also the total weight of capsule –chaff produced per hectare, the poppy seed production per hectare and other factors[31].
  • The lambardhar who oversees the harvest of opium receives 1.5% commission of the price of the total produce. He is supposed to maintain the prelambi weighment register with the names of all cultivators in the village and their daily produce. Each farmer is supposed to bring his daily produce to the Lambardhar who weighs the produce on a weighing scale provided by the Central Bureau of Narcotics department. He then enters the weight on the register and for each farmer he maintains a separate page.
  • In April temporary weighment centres are set up in 17 opium divisions. In each divisions there are two or three places where weighment centres are held. Camps are held for collection of the produce and depending on the number of clusters to be covered, three to four camps are held.
  • At the time of weighment, summons regarding weighment is given to different villages stating the date. Thirty villages are given summons on the same day and with at least 20cultivators per village. Thus daily produce of 200-350 cultivators are weighed.
  • Opium is finally collected in 35Kgs plastic container and sent to factories in Neemuch and Ghazipur.
  • The main operations of the factory include receipt and storage of opium, manipulation and maintenance of excise opium, packing of opium cakes, disposal of contraband opium and manufacture of various opium alkaloids[32] .
  • Lancing is done in 3-4 weeks depending on the variety of crop. Each farm for lancing is divided into three divisions; a part of each division is at first incised. Incision is done in the morning and the collection of opium in the afternoon. In India capsules are incised repeatedly, often four to five times in different days, until they yield no more. Repeated incisions reduce latex collected and so does the morphine content. This is probably the reason for low morphine content (12%) in Indian opium. The general statement made is that the morphine content in Indian Opium is 10% but there are papers citing different figures. According to Asthana, 2001, in 1907 the Government of India wanted to look at possibility of exporting Indian opium for medicinal purposes. A large sample of opium collected in 1909 from varied opium growing districts of India was sent to the Imperial Institute in London. The systematic investigation showed Indian opium has sufficiently high percentage of morphine to render the drug suitable for medicinal use or for manufacture of opium alkaloids.
  • Further analysis in 1915 showed from the 16 varieties of poppy the morphine content varied from 9.57% in Baunia variety to 14.25% in Posti variety. Six of the poppy variety had morphine content of 11 percent or above; four varieties were of 12% and above and two varieties were 13% and above. Of the remaining two one had morphine content of 10.98 % and the other 9.57% .
  • Subsequently experimentation was also done on other factors that can affect opium yield and morphine and other alkaloid content. The issues focused on included the variety of poppy, the kind of manure and soils, and the method of cultivation best suited for the production of good quality opium. It was also found that manner of collecting opium also affected the morphine content in the raw opium produce. There is more morphine content after the first scarification and from second attempt onwards the morphine content reduces. If the opium from the first scarification is not mixed with the subsequent produce, the morphine content in Indian opium was found to vary from 9% to 12%.[33] .
  • At the factory opium is classified into four grades based on its morphine strength, grade A (12%), grade B (11-12%), grade B2 (10-11%), B3 (between 8-10%). All opium with impurities is termed as “inferior” opium and graded as “C” or inferior opium.
  • The estimation based on the data collected led to either underestimation or overestimation, this was because the data collected, and is evident from the analysis as well. The distinguishing feature of each variety, which is relationship between height and diameter of a capsule. According to the study data revealed that the capsule height to diameter changed from field to field, state to state, and year to year for the same variety and therefore could not be used for classification (Mary et al, 2003[35]).

IV.III.2. Diversion from Licit Cultivation and related issues

It is stated that there is around 10% diversion from the licit cultivation. For the last decade as per data available the main source of brown sugar or heroin consumed across the country except for the north eastern states are largely met by diversion from the licit market. According to interviews around 79% of 889kgs seized is from processing of Indian opium. International law enforcement official, Liaison officers, Head of cultural affairs of an international agencies, national social scientists, national officials indicate there is far more diversion than is acknowledged by the government. The diversion from licit source occurred from 1992, to illustrate the same the table No 6 gives details on dismantling of heroin processing unit near cultivating areas for the year 1997.

Licit cultivation exists in three states of India Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh where total area cultivated was 26,683 hectares the annual yield was around 995, for the year 2001-2002. The raw opium produced is exported and a small percentage is processed in India for pharmaceutical purposes.

Cultivation of Opium has faced criticism from certain sections of society for it”s diversion into illicit trade and as the present trade links benefits the pharmaceutical companies abroad than in India. It is also stated that a small mafia and certain corrupt officials and politicians benefit from this cultivation and not the nation considering the cost of production and enforcement expenditure to keep cultivation in check[36]

Heroin production from diverted opium is undertaken in different places of Rajasthan(Bhawani, Mandi and Jalawar) Uttar Pradesh (Rae Barelli Bara Banki, Badaywyn Shahajanpur and Madhya Pradesh (Mandsaur). Those involved in heroin processing are also involved in smuggling of acetic anhydride needed to convert opium to heroin. In this part of the country the chemical is available in abundance as it is produced in fourteen factories across Uttar Pradesh from where it is diverted to the illicit channel.

Table 5. Details of Manufacturing Facilities Dismantled in 1997

Sl: No

Date

Place of Destruction

Drug Type

Other Drugs

No:of Persons arrested

1

7/1/1997

Mandsaur

0.850 Heroin

5.300 Opium

 

1

2

7/2/97

Mandsaaur

0.600 Morphine

30.530 Opium

 

3

3

12/2/97

Madhya Pradesh

1.200 Heroin

0.100 Opium

Acetic Anhydride

1.000 litres

3

4

25/2/97

Madanjai

Uttar Pradesh

11.000 Opium Solution

0.4000 Heroin

Acetic Chloride 1.000 litres

1

5.

14/4/97

Neemuch

1.300 Heroin

7.300 Heroin solution

 

4

6

1/5/97

Badaagaon

Bareilly Uttar Pradesh

4.150 Opium

0.055 Heroin

10.000 Opium Solution

Acetic Anhydride 2.500 Litres

Acetic Anhydride 0.500 Litres

1

7

5/5/97

Mandsaur

10.800 Opium

 

1

8

30/5/07

Mandsaur

30.400 Morphine Solution

0.950 Opium

0.150 Morphine

 

3

9

30/5/97

Barabanki

0.100 Morphine

 

1

10

2/6/97

Mandsaur

1.050 Morphine

24.800 Opium Solution

 

1

11

12/6/97

Ratlam

4.350 Morphine

Acetic Anhydride

1

12

23/7/97

Mandsaur

0.940 Morphine

Acetic Anhydride

7.200 litres

1

13

30/7/97

Bareilly

3.330 Opium

0.100 Morphine

 

1

14

12/9/97

Mandsaur

5.300 Opium

0.600 Heroin

Acetic Anhydride 0.500 Litres

4

15

22/9/97

Chittorgarh

22.250 Morphine

Lime 1.00 Kg

1

16

5/10/97

**Mandsaur

21.450 Morphien Solution

13.700 Opium

0.800 Morphine

 

5

17

10/10/97

Mandsaur

1.500 Heroin

Amonium Chloride 1.750 litres

2

18

14/11/97

Barabanki

 

Acetic Anhydride

11,500 litres

1

19

31/12/97

Mandsaur

0.060 Heroin

   

Another indication of drug trade flourishing from illicit sources has been noted that since 1991 Kanpur of Uttar Pradesh has evolved as an important transit point for processed heroin. This has been indicated by the growing presence of heroin users, according to media articles poppy cultivated in Barabanki, Gonda, Bharaich and parts of Rai Bareilli are meant to be processed at the government processing unit at Barabanki but a sizeable chunk of the produce is rerouted to Kanpur where it is refined as smack, the local term for Brown sugar or crude heroin[37].

Corruption along with close associations of various clan and castes in these areas include landlords in the area, local enforcement agencies, judiciary and other agencies makes the situation very difficult to deal with in a purely legal manner. This has been also indicated through interviews with international law enforcement officials, national experts, Head of Cultural affairs for an international agency as well. In this background steps to control diversion from the licit market to meet the demand in different parts of India is a complex reality that needs to be studied in depth and requires planning of strategies that are culturally sensitive and viable otherwise it would only lead to a strengthening of illicit cultivation for the illicit market and nothing beyond.

The probability of diversion can be looked at as from the presence of large number of farmers with small land holdings, discrepancy based on extent of land harvested and presence of material and knowledge for processing.

a) Farmers with small land holdings

Cultivation across the different states is undertaken by one hundred thousand farmers, farming on individual land holdings less than 0.2 hectares each makes it difficult to monitor. The situation becomes complicated as the yield depends on climatic changes and this is used as an excuse for under reporting the yield per hectare. Small land holdings make it difficult to estimate the actual yield per farm holding. According to informed persons who were part of the agency, during their tenure they used different mechanism to control diversion during weighment period but the following year the local people found new ways to beat the system.

With regard to license for cultivating poppy it is stated that though 90% of the cultivated land is said to be owned by small time farmers it is allegedly not so. The land is owned by small farmers only on paper and big landlords have large-scale cultivation being done under the name of different small time farmers. This is indicated by interviews with international liaison officers and head of cultural affairs. The presence of extended families that are formally separated come together for all practical purposes thereby cultivation can be done in small areas of the same landowners. As there is a lot of money (in relation to the local reality) in this activity there are many willing to take up ownership for a price[38]. The practice of benami (false claim of ownership) works here as in any other area. Besides, these states remain low on the human development index and the socially and economically isolated can be easily coerced. It is a veiled form of human bondage that continues, even as officials may argue that even physical ownership is fine for opium cultivation and there is no need for legal papers to substantiate the same. According to the regulations for opium cultivators, in case there is scarcity of water the farmer can cultivate in another farm where there is water provided he has the physical in possession of the farm.

Table 6. Indicates the number of cultivators and area licensed for licit cultivation

Crop Year

No: of cultivators

Area licensed (hectares)

Area Harvested (Hectares)

Opium Production in tons at 70 degree consistency

Average yield kgs per hectare at 70 degree consistency

1995-96

78670

26437

22593

1077

47.652

1996-97

76130

29799

24591

1271

51.710

1997-98

92292

30714

10098

335

33.139

1998-99

156071

33459

29163

1382

47.402

2000-2001

159884

35270

32085

1705

53.140

2001-2002

133408

26683

18086

995

55.024

2002-2003

114488

22848

18510

1011

54.630

It is alleged that the elite and powerful through their caste and clan have close association with main local cultivators, the local enforcement agencies and even the enforcers of justice. Under such circumstances corruption is almost impossible to prove and in case any untoward act is detected rarely is any action taken. As the opium lobby is a powerful group in the country, no political party would want to seriously address the matter. Interviews with national experts, international liaison officers and head of cultural affairs of an international agency indicated it.

The probable role opium cultivation can play in the lives of small farmers can be useful to focus upon. The need of the small time farmers to cultivate opium with all its hassles for a mere sum of Rs. 1,000 per kg given by the government and even that is applicable only when consistency is 70 degree, is a debatable issue. As the farms are small, a person who has cultivated opium in 10 ares, will get a produce of 4.5 to 5Kgs (approximately) from his land. Then the maximum annual income for the person is around Rs.4000 to Rs.5,000, this is based on the assumption that per hectare yield is around 45 to 55Kgs. If one were to consider the per farmer holding to be .2 hectare then the persons annual produce would be 9-10Kgs and income would be Rs.10,000, based on price paid by the government. This is the total income for a period of (Sept- June) ten months - the average monthly income would be Rs.1000, in fact far lesser considering the consistency factor. It is from this income that the expenditure for manure and fertilisers have to be taken care off, when the actual cost (considering the fact the farmers and his/her families take care of the labour) is considered, the income is far too less to explain the political value of this activity and its ensured capacity to procure votes; unless the entire process is facilitated by more powerful and resourceful individuals.

Poppy crop needs its nutrient supply and 50kg N per hectare is applied during the preparation of the land and another application of an equal quantity is given as top dressing in two split doses when the crop is one month old and at the time of flag and leaf stage[39].

The only other explanation is that some part of the produce is sold to the illegal market and that there are persons willing to finance the activities including spending on fertilisers, manure and legal help in case of any set back.

The existence of diversion from licit cultivation is also indicated by the fact that the price of heroin is less near the cultivating area, around Rs.30,000-50,000 and it is lower during period of harvest than the rest of the year.

b) Discrepancy in land harvested

Discrepancy between the cost price government prices and that of the illicit market is another factor to be considered. While the government offers Rs.1000 (around 20 euros) per kilo the illegal market offers Rs.10,000 to Rs.15,000[40]. The same has been confirmed through interviews as well.

For the year 2002, the price given by the government varied between Rs.630 –Rs.1440 per Kilogram and on the average through the years, government has paid the farmer around Rs. 1000 per kilogram for a consistency of 90 degree. Otherwise the payment is based on consistency of the produce, so when consistency is 65 degree, then the price for 10Kgs is 10 x 65 / 70 and it is Rs.928.7. As per the Annual Report of NCB for 2001-2002 price for opium in the illicit market range from Rs.5000 during crop season in April to Rs.15,000 to Rs.20,000 during the months of December and January.

The farmers are given government licence for cultivating opium in a fixed land area. However, a farmer who has been given the licence to cultivate 1,000 square meters generally exceed the area by about 300-400 square meters. Interviews with national experts did indicate the same. The excess produce is sold in the open market. Another source indicates such excess produce is around 1-2kgs per hectare.

It must be stated that there is often a discrepancy between the total area licensed to cultivate poppy and the area where actual cultivation does take place. In the year 1996-1997 the licensed area was 29,799 hectares and area where actual cultivation took place was 24,591 hectares. The following year the discrepancy was far more, the licensed area being 30,714 hectares and area cultivated being 10,098 hectares. Discrepancy has continued in the year 2000-2001, the variation being licensed area for 26,683 hectares and cultivated area being 18,086 hectares, for the year 2001-2002 the licensed area was 22,848 hectares and cultivated areas was 18,510 hectares. The explanation given is that cultivation was not undertaken because of water shortage or harsh climate, (strong wind) or insect or the Nilghai[41], and diseases destroyed the plants [42] and the harvest had to be destroyed. Considering the per hectare yield at 55Kgs, the diversion from licit cultivation through false claims of crop destruction for the year, 2000-2001 could be as much as over 400 tonnes of opium.

The process of destroying poppy field is known as an Act of destruction. When there is a claim that poppy crop has been destroyed then the field officer is supposed to visit the area and burn the crop. This is called the Act of Destruction. In return for a “fee” the officers makes false statement that the crop has been burnt. In reality the crop is harvested and sold in the illegal market[43].

c) Presence of material and knowledge for processing

Another issue to be considered is the possibility of easy procurement of acetic anhydride. In one of the arrests a heroin producer from this area indicated that he received acetic anhydride from a driver transporting the chemical. He made his transaction at eatery places and he paid Rs.1,000 – Rs.2,000 per litre.

According to national experts processing takes place almost like a cottage industry, people in villages are provided with specified quantity of opium, acetic anhydride and asked to process it. People are explained how to do it and after a period of certain days the people who delivered the substances come and collect processed adulterated heroin, for the purity level is low.

One kilo of opium is treated with lime and dissolved in a plastic bucket filled with three quarters full with water to isolate the insoluble matter. The content is filtered through a coarse cloth, and 250gms of ammonium chloride is added to 1 kilogram of the filtrate in a plastic container is added to 1kg of filtrate in a plastic container and mixed. The content is allowed to stand for a short time and is then passed through a fine cloth. The precipitate is washed with water. The resulting product is crude morphine, which is then dissolved in hydrochloride acid or sulphuric acid in a 5-1 flask. Animal charcoal is added to this solution, and the content is heated over a stove and filtered hot through a filter paper. Ammonium hydroxide is added to the filtrate, hydroxide is added to the filtrate, which precipitates the morphine. The content is filtered again, and the morphine base is dried.

The dry morphine is submerged in a flask to which acetic anhydride has been added. The contents are then heated for five hours at a constant temperature. After cooling, the contents are transferred to a plastic bucket and sodium carbonate powder is added to separate the mass. The mass which forms heroin base is filtered and washed with water. The crude heroin is mixed with citric acid and water in a flask and then heated and filtered through a filter paper. Sodium carbonate is added to the cold filtrate to precipitate heroin. The mass is then passed through a fine cloth to separate heroin base. The base is dissolved in acetone in a container, and hydrochloric acid is added until the solution changes colour with blue litmus. The contents are dried in air, in case of difficulty in removing the moisture, ether is added. The granular heroin hydrochloride is formed and ground with a bottle to prepare the powder base. This type of heroin known as No:3 is light grey –brown in colour and contains almost 40 percent heroin and 5 to 6 percent acetyl codeine.

A method has been evolved for assigning the source of supply or origin of illicit heroin samples, whereby the content of morphine, codeine and acetyl products and the ratios of morphine to codeine and heroin to acetyl codeine are obtained. The ratio of these substances in illicit samples can determine the source of supply, for the known opium samples are used as the basic criteria for a comparison to determine the origin of illicit heroin samples. It is also observed that the theoretical ratio of heroin to acetyl codeine increases two fold at each stage of the chemical conversion in the series opium-morphine-heroin.

As per the Annual Report of NCB, 2001-2002, though there is continued emphasis that the main source of narcotics to India is from South West Asia, the report does speak about diversion from licit cultivation. The report further elaborates there has been a reduction in the flow of heroin from Pakistan because of the military build up and as a result there was a slight fluctuation in the illicit drug prices in the country but it stabilised. This stabilisation of prices could have come from the increase of supply of heroin produced from Indian opium.

The main seizures within manufacturing facilities in India have been in the cultivating state of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. This is an indication that diversion exists in India in spite of the drug control activities. Given below are samples of the same:

On 11th February 2002, officers of the Uttar Pradesh Police searched the residential premises at Lucknow, recovered and seized 7.00 kgs of Morphine. A person has been arrested in this connection. On the same day in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, the same agency seized 2.5kgs of heroin from a person.

On March 2002, two seizures were made by officers of Uttar Pradesh police at Varanasi. On 19th they seized 1,000 tablets of Diazepam and on 22nd 5,000 tablets of diazepam.

Officers of Kanpur police, Uttar Pradesh apprehended two persons near Kopergang seized 4kgs of brown sugar from their possession and both were arrested.

A combined team of the officers Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai and Delhi zonal units raided an illicit methaqualone manufacturing factory at Raipur, Uttar Pradesh. Here they seized methaqualone 1429 kgs of Acetic Anhydride 895kgs of Orthitoluidine 1386kgs of Anthralic Acid 200kgs of Methanol 138kgs of caustic Soda. Six persons were arrested in this connection.

In January 2002 officers of the Madhya Pradesh police apprehended one person at Mandasur and seized 8 kilos of opium from him. In another incident, the same month, the agency seized 13kgs of heroin from another person at Mandasur.

On 3rd March 2002, the officers of the Madhya Pradesh police seized 200.200kgs of opium from a person at a railway crossing in Mandasur and arrested him. The following month the same agency seized 18kgs of heroin at Ratlam and arrested three persons in this connection.

In another incident on 6th April 2002, Central Bureau of Narcotics Neemuch seized 2.300 kgs of Opium 5.800kgs of opium solution, 0.750kgs of heroin and 0.400 litres of acetic anhydride, lime and ammonium chloride. Along with this lab equipment was also seized all a part of illicit heroin manufacturing unit.

On 24th July 2002, Central Bureau of Narcotics, Ratlam, intercepted one motorcycle at Kharakhiri, Maha Road at Ratlam and seized 20.100kgs of acetic anhydride.

On 8th May 2002 officers of Central Bureau of Narcotics ratlam apprehended one person at Chittaugarh, Rajasthan and seized 5.100kgs Morphine and 17kgs of Opium solution from him and arrested him. On the same day in another incident the officers of the Central Bureau of Narcotics Chittaugarh seized 1.400kgs of heroin and 1.800 litres of acetic anhydride, he was arrested.

The officers of the Central Bureau of Narcotics, Chittaaurgauh on 4th June 2002 apprehended two persons at village Medikhera Rajasthan and seized 9.600kgs of opium from their possession. Both the accused were arrested, the drug concealed in the panel of both the front mudguards of a Maruti car. (Narcotics Control Bureau annual Reports)

On 4.5.2001, the agency for Control Bureau of Narcotics seized 0.450Kgs of heroin and along with opium solution 1.000litres, Acetic Anhydride 1.000litres, Ammonia 0.350Kgs, weighing machine and utensils. One person was arrested.

On 5.5.2001 in Bhawani Mandi, Jaipur (Rajasthan) CBN agency seized half a kilo of opium along with Acetic Anhydride 1.000Litres, Ammonia .350Kgs, 1400 tablets of paracetamol. One person was arrested.

On 21.6.2001, at Bareilly Uttar Pradesh, the CBN agency seized Heroin weighing 900 grams along with Ammonium Chloride one bottle, Lime 2.250, Opium

solution 10,000 litres, Opium Makh 200 grams.

On 21.6.2001, in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, the CBN agency seized 1.000Kgs of heroin along with lime 1.550Kgs, opium solution, 15.000 litres and opium makh 0.250 grams.

On 21.6.2001, in Bareilly Uttar Pradesh, the CBN agency seized 600grams of heroin along with 10,000 litres of opium, 150gms of opium makh and lime 2.400Kgs.

On 7.9.2001, in Gwalior and Itawa (Madhya Pradesh), the CBN agency seized 1.450Kgs of heroin along with Amonia 16.500Kgs, weighing machine and utensils.

On 20.1.2001, the CBN agency seized in Badawn, Uttar Pradesh, 2gms along with 1.500Kgs of opium, sodium 400gms and weighing machine.

On 23.1.2001 from Badawn in Uttar Pradesh, 200gms of heroin along with acetic anhydride 25ml, acetyl chloride 200grams, lime 500grams, weighing machines and utensils.

On 23.5.2001, the officers of Madhya Pradesh Police seized 5.100Kgs of heroin at Neemuch and arrested one person.

From 2nd to 7th of May 2001, the officers of Central Bureau of Narcotics, Kota Rajasthan seized 0.450Kgs of heroin from a room at Welcome Guest House in front of Pareek College, Jaipur and arrested three persons. In a follow up action an illicit drug manufacturing laboratory was busted and 1.000 litres of Acetic Anhydride, 1.000 litres of liquid opium, 0.350 ammonia, 0.500Kgs of opium, 1.400 tablets of Paracetamol, balance weighing machine, two motor cycles and one car was seized. Four more persons were also arrested.

d) Under reporting of the yield

There is also another dimension for trade (on which there is no clear data) that the under reporting per hectare of licit cultivation is around 32kgs of opium in case of Madhya Pradesh. Then for around 13,000 hectares the total diversion would be 416,000kgs or 416 tonnes. Another media report covering the issue states that the yield per hectare is around 90Kgs and the farmers give a low amount of 42-50Kgs to the government and sell the rest to the illegal market[44]. Discrepancy in yield has been indicated to be higher than the stated yield, but not to the extent mentioned above.

According to credible information underreporting and false presentation of farm produce being destroyed is quite high. It can be seen from the data on Table 3, (P.27) the discrepancy in the total area for which licenses were issued by the government and the total area in which harvest was done for different years are; for 1995-1996 it was 3,844 acres, for 1996-1997 it was 5,208 acres; for 1997-1998 it was 20616; for 1998-1999 was 4,296; for 2000-2001 it was 3,185 acres; for 2001-2002 was 8,597 acres and for year 2002-2003 was 4,338 acres.

If calculations are made for the probable land cultivated that has not been accounted for based on official average yield, the yield of opium in tons that has not been accounted for would be; 183 for the year 1995-1996; 269 for 1996-1997; 683 for 1997-1998; 203 for 1998-1999; 169 for 1999-2000; 473 for 2000-2001; 263 for 2002-2003. The probable unaccounted opium for the year 1997-1998 is interesting and the same year the NCB does mention of government attempt to bring defaulters to line.

Another indication of possible under reporting may the discrepancy in the amount of effort and money spent on strengthening opium yield for years and absence of its impact on the MQY fixed by the government. According to Husain et al , 1983, “ In 1979, Khana (1979) attempted to make individual selection for early flowering (80-81) days plant in a variety “ Single Dark Red”. A high yielding selection from Dhatura was found to yield 51Kg of raw opium per hectare on dry weight basis”[45]. Interestingly the MQY mentioned 50Kg/ha only 2000-2001 and not before that.

In the year 1996 as a part of political move the Finance Minister announced that though MQY for Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh was 48Kgs per hectare and for Uttar Pradesh was 40Kgs, the farmers who gave the government lower yield per hectare would not be discriminated against. This ensured that a large quantity of opium became available for trade in the illicit market[46].

Opium policy is made depending on political reality of the area is alleged by new paper articles. For example, Mandsaur, a district in Western Madhya Pradesh accounts for 60 percent of the country”s total opium production, is a place of importance in processing of heroin as well. While politicians publicly protest against opium cultivation, they give into pressure from opium lobby.

The main concern of the lobby is that MQY for each state should not be increased. In the beginning of the decade, MQY was fixed at 34Kg/ha. When the government wanted to increase it to 38Kgs/ha lot of pressure was put by local political leaders and MQY was set at 37Kg/ha.

For the year 1994-1995 season, the MQY was fixed at 65Kgs per hectare. The figure was arrived based on Narcotics Department data that actual yield of opium per hectare ranged between 60Kgs and 80Kgs and even higher at certain places. The government, however, under pressure from the local leaders decided to relax the figure set by its Narcotics Department and lowered the MQY to 50Ks/ha. Later the finance ministry reduced MQY to 48Kg/ha.

As a result of surplus diversion numerous villages along Madhya Pradesh- Rajasthan border have make-shift laboratories extracting heroin[47].

IV.IV. Illicit Cultivation

It is undertaken in Arunachal Pradesh in North East India and in the hilly terrain of Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Most of the areas, especially Lohit, Yingkiong, Changlang, and Khansa districts of Arunachal Pradesh are difficult to access. Illicit cultivation also occurs in parts of Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Central Bureau of Narcotics is involved in destruction of illicit cultivation with support of other agencies. In certain places of Arunachal Pradesh the local inhabitants use opium for rituals and personal consumption.

Destruction of illicit cultivation was undertaken in 30 hectares in 1997, 100 hectares in 1998, 250 hectares in 1999. For evolving a relevant alternate development plan, Central Bureau of Narcotics collected data from 100 districts in Arunachal Pradesh[48] to deal with illicit cultivation. The trend of illicit cultivation did continue, for in March 2002, West Bengal State Excise, Police, Customs and NCB destroyed 41.5 acres of illicit poppy cultivation. In the same month the State Excise of West Bengal also destroyed 3000 illicit poppy plants. In May, 2002, 35 hectares of illicit poppy cultivation was destroyed in Anantag and Pulwana in Kashmir valley.

V. Drug Markings as identification indicators

An indication that there are three different drug sources has been the variation in markings or its absence on the drug packet seized. Seizures of drug originating from Afghanistan/Pakistan have the substances packed in cloth bags of Khaki and off white colours. Each packet contains 1Kg of substance and is sealed using either red/green/blue seals. On the packing are made markings “555”, “777” and Shah Alam[49] Factories. Along with the trade mark there is a sense of competition between various groups. At times the drug is covered in a cloth piece with the marks sealed on them to indicate a particular brand or quality.

According to the informants and the media, Indian traders are quite unlike, and do not want to claim any ownership; even the best quality of drug is kept in loose plastic bags and there are no marks or signs.

When the source is from diversion occurring from licit cultivation in India and in this case the packets are of 250- 450gms packing. The drug is sealed in plain polythene bags with double or triple bags being used. The packets are then wrapped in brown paper. Indian dealers show a preference to remain anonymous though one source indicated that the name “Gulshan[50]” was used. Near the cultivating area and other parts of India, these drugs packets are then carried in ordinary marketing bags made of cloth. The attempt is to merge with surrounding as far as possible.

An interesting indication of area covered by diversion through licit source can be noted from the packing. Kolkatta, which is close to north eastern states, has its local demand met by the Indian source. This is indicated form secondary sources and interviews and another indication is the packing. Seizures show that drug is packed in polythene bags covered with brown paper and then carried in bags made of cloth.

The recent seizure of 5Kgs of heroin along India-Pakistan border on 6th Feb 2003 indicate that trade does continue though at a lower level. There is also the view point that at times drugs that originate from diversion of licit cultivation is being packed in the style of that from Afghanistan. At the same time seizures form border areas cannot be but from Afghanistan or Pakistan.

The other source country for heroin is Myanmar, there is a variation in the packing of the drug and the signs used. Heroin that comes from South East Asia is very neatly and professionally packed. The signs are either written in Chinese or English, the signs being “double dangerous[51]”, double UO global”, and “five star”. Unlike heroin from Afghanistan which is generally 1Kg (at times it is stated it can be packets of 300gms), the drug packets from Myanmar are usually 750gms or lower.

A Case Example for different Trade markings and methods

A large seizure was made at the outskirts of Delhi, the place is close to the highway. At around 200 yards of deviation from the main highway in a farm 4 ½ tonnes of hashish was seized. An Afghan gang had bought the land in a tribal area and in a 100sq yard a hut like building was built, where as was the practice in the village hay was stored. It was inside this hay stack that 4 ½ tonnes of hashish was found.

The hashish was packed in shape of soles, 9-10 inches long and ½ inch thick. These pieces of hash were wrapped together with a cellophane tape. The packets had markings of 777/ 555/786 on them on a golden foil.

In the shack there were left over food in the vessels and there was all indications of a hurried exist. This was possible as the place was located in such a manner that a person had a good view of the highway and could notice any vehicle taking a deviation towards their area.

It has to be stated that there are many migrant Afghans in India and they have mingled with the local communities through the years and it easy for them to carry on drug trade as they can network directly with Indian counterparts, if necessary[52].

VI. Export from different locations

There are three ways in which drugs are exported from India, through air, sea and postal services. The later has been in practice for more than two decades, but it is very difficult to detect and prove. Besides as the quantity is involved is small there is a tendency to ignore it considering the time and resources needed for detection and making arrests. According to International liaison officers, seizures of various lots of heroin sent through mail totalled to 10Kgs and were sent from Punjab to Canada. The purity level of the substance was nine percent.

With regard to sea and air there are two options for the traders, that is to employ couriers or to send the substance as cargo. Exporting as cargo is safer and the quantity can be larger as is indicated from seizures. Often this was done with the help from corrupt crew members or those returning a favour for placement and recruitment.

According to a source the method of exporting as cargo is applicable in case of hashish and methaqualone and not heroin. For heroin is precious and can become useless though the latter is not substantiated by interviews with forensic scientists.

When exporting drug with the help of couriers, there are two different types that are employed, one are the professional couriers and the other are those who do not know they are carrying drugs. The second group only knows that someone known to them has given them a packet to be delivered to another person and do so it in good faith. As other than getting information from informal sources officials make their detection based on body language and this is possible only when the person is aware that he/she is carrying narcotics. Some of the most common indicators for those who carry drugs by swallowing are that they arrive at last minute, do not eat or drink anything on the flight. Maximum they have is a glass of lime juice before flight.

Heroin is the main substance that is exported other than Hashish and Acetic Anhydride. For processing heroin from opium Acetic Anhydride is needed and it is exported via central Asia to Pakistan where the best processing occurs, for it is said it requires certain personal and technical skills to do the job properly. It is alleged, according to interviews that two different types of heroin are processed in India, brown sugar (the impure heroin) for local market and purer stuff for export.

Some of the changes that have occurred in export as indicated from primary and secondary sources are:

Case Examples

VII. Presence of Stock Piling

Information collected through interviews and secondary data indicate stock piling of opium occurs in cultivating areas or nearby locations. Stockpiling of opium is also indicated from the data on dismantling of manufacturing units. This data has been given under the section diversion from licit cultivation. The time period of seizure indicate that it occurred through out the year 2001, from month of May to the month of October.

Opium being stocked is more viable as the processing can be done as per demand and this ensures that trade continues through out the year and in case there is surplus it can be utilised the next year. Preference to store in form of opium is because of the cultural acceptance of opium as against heroin, which is considered a foreign drug. Use of opium is States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab is far more than it has been presented by drug research work in India. There are other states also where use of opium continues, such as Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Orissa and West Bengal.

This is indicated from seizure data of opium too for example on 24.2.001 the officers of Madhya Pradesh Police seized 44.900Kgs of opium from a person at P.S. Jeeran Dist Neemuch and arrested him. This area is sanctioned to cultivate poppy and the seizure in the month of February[61] indicates that it as previous year”s produce. The similar pattern can be seen from data of dismantling of illicit heroin processing units which occurs May to October in 2001[62]. Seizure of opium in areas close to cultivating areas in the month of September, may as well indicate that the previous years produce is stored[63]. On 31st August 2002, 41 KGs of opium was seized in Mandsaur by Madhya Pradesh Police and on 3rd September,2002, 32.960 KG of opium was seized in Mandsaur.

According to informants stockpiling of opium is done by agents who are paid per assignment irrespective of the amount stored. They are paid by the person who oversees the transportation in that specific area on a monthly basis and they are known as storage agents. Unlike this those who store heroin are paid per day and the time period is far shorter.

Stockpiling of heroin is indicated in case of wholesaler, for example in Mumbai the wholesaler may have heroin in sacks of 20Kgs and from which he distributes to others as per demand. In such cases the substance is kept in private residential places and often with minimal effort made at concealment. Only the main person and his trusted courier know where the sacks are kept and from this stock the courier takes the required amount to middle men and big time peddlers. Since the time period is very short, it cannot be considered to be cases of stock piling, besides as pointed out by informants the risk (perceived and real) in stocking heroin is higher, the focus is to keep it moving. Most of the person involved in drug trade work as agents and are paid per assignment, and they would like to dispose off the stuff as soon as possible.

VIII. Purity and Price

VIII.I Purity

The purity of the drug is high in the case of drug brought in both from SWA and SEA. While officials and media state this purity to be around 80% and above, the data from professionals in testing laboratory indicate it to be around 50-60%. This detailed testing occurs only when there is dispute on the purity of the drug seized, otherwise the seized drugs is tested for the presence of narcotics or in this case diacetylmorphine. At present in addition to this it is verified whether the diacetylmorphine content is above 2%, this is as per the recent regulation under NDPS Act[64], in order for making conviction, for there were instance of individuals being sentenced for seizures where the percent of diacetylmorphine was below 2%.

It is the presence of narcotics that took over the issue of purity of substance seized by far in India. Upon seizure of any drug, a sample is taken in front of the witnesses and the sample is packed and sealed. Then sample is sent for testing. In certain cases of arrest the purity was not tested then it was stated that the purity and percentage of diacetylmorphine has to be analysed. This was done as there lawyers demand release of clients based on low level of diacetylmorphine being present in the drug.

The purity of heroin imported at the time of entry to India it is stated to be between 35-55%. There is variation in extent of purity claimed by different sources; the enforcement officials claim the purity of imported heroin at the border areas to be around 85% and above. At the same time the forensic informant there claimed it the highest percentage to be 60% and officials in Mumbai claim a much lower figure (35-45%).

As per the study done by Sukhminder Kaur, 1996[65], the purity levels of 100 samples of seized substances were tested from across the country for presence of diacetylmorphine and its purity level. The purity for heroin varied from 1-53% and these were from seizures made of substances meant for export and also those meant for local consumption, the later seems to be larger in number. For as per purity level around 48 samples that tested positive for heroin had purity level below 30%, from this 14 had purity between 10-20% and another 14 below 10%. In case of seven samples the purity was 40% and for six samples the purity was between 50-55%.

It based on the place and circumstance of seizure that an assessment in made on whether the seized product is meant for local consumption or export. According to the data collected the seizures that are made at peddling area or small quantity seized from users tend to have very low purity level. Whereas when the seizure is made in large quantity from border areas or at exists for export (airport, sea port) or while being transported to cities or destination for export, the substance is purer. This assumption is made based on interviews and also data on circumstance of seizure of small quantity and its purity level.

According to forensic department the adulterants used to reduce purity varied from diazepam, methaqualone, phenobarbitone, caffeine, chicken masala, paracetamol, aspirin, chalk powder and vitamin C. In addition to this Strychnine or opium water is also used as adulterant. The details of seizures of heroin manufacturing unit indicate use of paracetamol as it has been one of the substances seized. Another informant from the field stated that he himself had used Mandrax as an adulterant for heroin he distributed, at the rate of 100gms per kilo of heroin he received. The process was to remove 100gms from a kilo of heroin and then add in 100gms of Mandrax. The other 100gms that is removed is kept separate and then when nine such lots are collected then to it again 100gms of Mandrax is added. Adding of Mandrax as been collaborated by other peddlers, especially when due to some reason there is sudden shortage for a short period of a few days. Besides as per field data Strychnine or opium water is also used and this is indicated from seizure of opium makh (concentrated opium- in form of paste) at the processing unit. When a wholesaler or big time dealer purchases heroin, adulterants are sold in separate package at the rate of Rs.2000-4000 per kilo.

Heroin sold for local consumption is highly adulterated, except in the north eastern states where Heroin No: 4 are available, but there too recently the purity of drug sold has reduced, especially during the last eight to ten years. In other parts of India, the purity differs across the country from 3% to 12%, for heroin sold at the street level; and NCB, 2002, places the average purity at street level to be 5%. This is based on interviews and data from other studies as well.

The street level drug may be of poor quality partly because of the numerous transactions involved. In addition to this poorer quality of heroin is far more popular. For example there are a few spots where higher quality of drug is available it cost Rs.50 per pudi. According to users in Mumbai they prefer to have the cheaper and poorer quality as it is easier to manage, both as because of monetary reasons and another because withdrawals are easier to manage. Some of the users said on rare occasions (once or twice a year) they have the purer stuff available on the streets for a better high.

The purity level data has been provided by informants and also by the testing departments designated for the purpose. As per data collected the purity of heroin at the street level in Punjab is between 10-12%[66], in case of Delhi it is around 12%[67], for Kolkata (Kolkatta) it is 3% to 6%[68], for Chennai it is 10%[69], and for Mumbai it is 3-5%[70], the data being with regard to drug sold at the street level.

The purity of the drug may be higher in Chennai as nearby areas are important for routing the substances via or to Sri Lanka. When the substance is meant for export it is of purer quality, beige in colour as against that meant for local consumption which is brown in colour. It could also be possible that processing is being done here as well. This assumption is based on the seizure of opium in significant quantity in Tamil Nadu and seizure of acetic anhydride as well. In 1992, 116 Kg of opium was seized in a village near to coastal area of Tuticorin and same year there was another seizure of 47Kg of opium in Trichendur, close to Tuticorin. The following year 362Kgs of opium was seized in Trichy, a city in Tamil Nadu. In 1994, a large seizure of 19000 litres of acetic anhydride occurred in Tamil Nadu.

In case of opium related arrests within Sri Lanka it has been absent in all province accept in the western province, and here to the number arrest was minimal in comparison to cannabis and heroin. It was 7 for 1996, 2 for 1998, 5 for 1999, and 3 for 2000. With regard to opium seized in Sri Lanka it was 0.145Kgs in 1996, 22.032Kgs in 1997, 0.20 in 1998, 0.8Kg in 1999 and 36.452Kg in 2000.

Through the years the purity level has come down and this has facilitated the use of synthetic opiates to compensate for the deteriorating purity of the drug at the street level. It is the additive used for reducing the purity and increasing the quantity that creates a high profit margin for drugs sold at the street level and it also leads to medical problems among injectors.

VIII.II. Price

The attempt to arrive at any exact figure about price variation has been a difficult venture, for the price varied with the resource person who provided the information. This has been indicated by the data collection process and by another study done in Delhi, the study stated[71]the wholesale purchase price of heroin quoted by various informants differed. Whole sellers stated the price ranged from Rs. 50,000 to Rs.300,000; informed persons said it to be between Rs.100,000 to Rs.150,000 and experts placed it between Rs.60,000 to Rs.200,000.

Data collection indicated that the price per kilogram differed based on whether the deal occurs at wholesale level, retail level or street level. Based on data from NCB reports and other sources a table is presented.


Table 7. Price of Substances in various Locations

Area/State
Domestic Price per Kilogram
Opium
Heroin

Delhi

Whole Sale

Retail Sale

Street Level

1500-2500

200,000 - 400,000

Kolkata

Whole Sale

Retail Sale

Street Level

8000-15,000

12,000 – 20,000

20,000- 40,000

150,000-250,000

300,000- 600,000

500,000 -800,000

Mumbai

Whole Sale

Retail Sale

Street Level

14,000-16,000

20,000-26,000

140,000-180,000

100,000-300,000

Chennai

Whole Sale

Retail Sale

Street Level

10,000

15,000

20,000

200,000

250,000

300,000

Uttar Pradesh

Whole Sale

Retail Sale

Street Level

30,000

30,000

400,000

500,000

Punjab

Whole Sale

Retail Sale

Street Level

15,000

25,000

35,000

100,000-200,000

150,000-300,000

200,000-500,000

Gujarat

Whole Sale

Retail Sale

Street Level

3000-5000

5000-8000

8000-10,000

100,000-150,000

200,000-250,000

300,000-350,000

Jammu and Kashmir

Whole Sale

Retail Sale

Street Level

18,000

24,000

300,000

400,000+

Himachal Pradesh

Whole Sale

Retail Sale

Street Level

15,000

15,000

30,000

100,000-200,000

150,000-300,000

200,000-500,000

 

It is difficult to accept all the figures indicated by NCB report, for example opium is far cheaper in Delhi than in cultivating areas such as Uttar Pradesh or Himachal Pradesh where there exists small scale illicit poppy cultivation. Even in case of heroin the price per Kilogram of heroin is higher in areas where there can be diversion from illicit cultivation and in border areas in comparison to prices in cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

With regard to Chennai which is geographically further away from all three sources of drug for India, the price is low at Rs.250,000 per kilogram of heroin. The other possibility is that there is illicit cultivation in Southern part of India. Illicit cultivation in itself cannot meet the demand given the quantum required especially given the trade with Sri Lanka and other nearby islands. Since poppy is cultivated through gum method, and it is laborious and skilled job, the extent of manpower needed to undertake the activity may not be adequate to make it the main source of supply.

There is also the possibility that here the business is done in larger quantities and thereby reducing the cost price per kilogram. Probably the flourishing export through southern states has made the market far more competitive for the present. The price at Rs.2,50,000 per kilogram of heroin has also been indicated by local sources as well. It is also gathered through interviews that Srilankans and others wanting to export themselves go to cultivating areas and place the order, thereby they also ensure the purity of the substance prior to organising its transportation to various destinations through many routes.

With regard to payment, to facilitate purchase of the drug, it could be made on credit and the amount paid in instalments, this was stated by most of the informants. Whereas experts stated that the amount was paid in cash and the money transferred through illegal channels. Field data collection in Mumbai indicate that in this business upon delivery of the substance the entire amount has to be paid and concession is given on rare occasions to facilitate persons setting up trade for the first time. Otherwise because of the risks involved there is no scope for payment on instalment basis.

IX. Street-level Drug dealing

As per informants good quality heroin costs in Mumbai between Rs. 5,00,000 to Rs. 6,00,000 per Kilogram. This varies with purity and at times with surplus quantity the price crashes but the market stabilises very fast. According to some of the informants the main person receives heroin at purity level of between 50-60% and by the time the drug is sold to dealer on the street it is at 30% purity. At the same time others place the purity level at 40% for Indian source.

The main source for local consumption is from diversion of licit cultivation, it is bad weather and destruction of crop that has an influence on the price and not other factors. According to data collected through interviews with national experts 90% of the local need for heroin in Mumbai is met by diversion from licit cultivation. This locally produced heroin is brown in colour as against Afghan product that is beige this has been indicated by interviews with national law enforcement officials and by observation. Even when Mumbai Bomb blast (1993) occurred, the smooth arrangement between customs, enforcement agencies, politicians and organised crime groups came to a stand still only for a short period. The officials who facilitated the landing of the RDX (a chemical used for preparing explosives) and arms did so under the belief that the cargo contained silver as they were told. After the incident or even prior to it the groups” dispersed, main individuals went abroad and managed the business from overseas.

The price difference at the street level occurs for a matter of days and soon the situation stabilises. At times this leads to users using synthetic opiates for dealing with short term crisis and some continue the habit. None of the users interviewed in Mumbai spoke of inability to get the drug of their choice for even a few days, though the quality and price changed for some days.

IX.I. Street-Level Price

The street level price of pudi (Mumbai), pudia (Delhi) or piece (North East) as it is called, the unit quantity that is sold to drug user wrapped in paper, varies marginally across the country. There is also difference in the stated quantity sold per unit which is supposed to contain a quarter gram of the drug. In Mumbai official sources state that the pudi contains 200mgms or heroin or less. In Delhi it is claimed that pudia is only 1/8 or 1/10 of a gram. For North East data available indicates the unit is around quarter of a gram and it is the same for Chennai.

Though the price per unit sold is only marginally different across the country, the quantity sold per unit indicates that drug use is a far more expensive habit in Delhi than in Mumbai. Study from Delhi did indicate that through the years the quality of the drug has deteriorated and the change in price was very nominal. Average cost of a pudi was around Rs.50, with lower quality being available for Rs.30 and purer quality for Rs.100. In case of raw opium the price ranged from Rs.15 to Rs.20 per gram and per day consumption of a person was around 1gm to 10gms. The same quantity of daily consumption is indicated in Punjab, when raw opium is eaten.

In 1990, at the street level brown sugar (crude heroin) was sold at Rs.10 to Rs.30 being the price for purer heroin. At present in Mumbai the price of crude heroin is Rs.15 to Rs.50, and some mentioned it cost them Rs.30 per pudi. When considering the increase in other items this difference is not much, though deterioration in the substance does indicate a further increase in price[72]. Whereas in the early eighties when heroin began to sold in the streets of Mumbai it was sold free and later at a cost of Rs.2 per vial.

At present the price in other cities also is above the street price for heroin in Mumbai. In Chennai as per available data the street price is at Rs.700 per gram, which makes it around Rs.46 per pudi ( or 250mgms) and for Kolkatta a unit is sold at Rs.60 per 250mgs with 3- 6% purity. In Manipur (a state in North East India) a piece or unit at street level price for heroin was between Rs.30-60 per piece, from 1990-1995 and from 2000-2002 cost per piece was Rs.50-100. Piece is the unit it is sold at in the streets and one piece is one forth of a quarter. Thus quarter gram was sold at Rs.120-240 from 1990-1995 and at Rs.200-400 from 2000-2001.

The local drug scene in Manipur, was affected by a National Strike which led to the communication along the National Highway being stopped for weeks. This led to many young drug users shifting to synthetic opiate use. After the market stabilised they continued the use as it was cheaper and first fix could be reused according to them. There is also the probable perceived quality control of pharmaceutical drugs[73]. Besides, the shift to synthetic opiates made the habit cheaper, for a strip of spasmoproxymon costs Rs.30-60 per strip, which consists of eight tablets. The shift to synthetic opiates is seen in other places as well.

In spite of heroin being much cheaper in Mumbai, the users are finding it difficult especially when they consume more than 10 pudis per day and this leads to them seeking synthetic opiates so that they can keep the brown sugar consumption in control and still get a high. NCB report (2002)[74]also indicate use of synthetic opiates and medicinal substances increasing the last a few years.

X. Structure of Groups and profiles of persons involved[75]

In India it is in Mumbai that organised crime groups evolved, in comparison to other parts of the country. Their structure is diverse in nature; the intra-group relationship can be described as a combination of both the bureaucratic and patron-client models. There are besides, individuals not directly linked to the gangs who accept on work on assignment basis. At times gangs interact with smaller groups who control specific territories and tasks.

In Bombay, as organised crime groups developed, each had specific territorial boundaries and specialisation. Small time criminals, depending on their business acumen and ruthlessness, were able to evolve as underworld dons. The structure of their organisation and their activities depended also on the level of competition. Among the activities undertaken by them were illicit liquor (till prohibition was in place), gold, electronic goods, running of brothels, collection of protection money, extortion were all part of their domain. It is with liberalisation and limitation in scope for smuggling that drugs entered the scene and unlike in the late seventies when cannabis trade was prominent, other substances gained importance in the Indian scenario.

It is during the eighties that the gangs became more organised and used technology to enhance communication and control. Certain groups began to have strategies alliance outside the country to strengthen their position within India. They grew on to provide illegal goods and services, which included settling of financial disputes in a speedy manner when the legal machinery took years to dispose off the cases.

Neither the structure nor functioning of the organised crime groups remains static. It keeps changing with social reality and environment that surrounds it. This seems to be in line with the role of nexus between triad ( political parties, organised crime groups and white collar criminals) as stated by Arun Kumar,2000[76], in shaping the criminal activities and its role in society.

Organised crime groups got involved with drug trade along with other activities because of its economic viability. This began in the seventies with trade in cannabis products; it began with Kharim Lala who along with Jhuma Khan Charaswala exported hashish. Kharim Lal, a Pathan, had easy access to Pathans in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The brand of cannabis he sold was known as Mumbai black. Later one of his henchmen, Iqbal Mirchi became a international drug trader and though many cases were filed against him he has never been convicted. In the eighties when heroin entered the Indian market, many groups took up the activity of drug trafficking along with smuggling in gold and hawala business. These groups were based both in Mumbai and Delhi. The details of seizures of drugs of different types is an indication of the existing trade (Table 8), though extent of groups direct involvement in drug trade at various levels is difficult to understand without adequate data, though informal interviews do indicate there is involvement in drug trade including export.

Dawood Ibrahim is a son of a police hawaldar, who grew to be a known personality in crime world. He grew up in very poor condition but had links with the underworld leaders and was inclined to crime at a young age. Initially he was saved from facing charges for his criminal acts by his father”s intervention[77].

In November 1995, one of Dawood”s close contacts was arrested in Dubai. Vicky Goswami along with seven others were sentenced to life imprisonment for drug trafficking. Goswami, a son of a sub-inspector from Gujarat police, left more than a decade ago to South Africa and from there controlled smuggling of narcotics. He then shifted to Dubai when British officials began to hunt for him.

Goswami reportedly close to Sharad Shetty and Prem Shetty who were part of Dawood group. Goswami is said to have created assets in Mauritius and also has links with Hindi film industry[78].

The Dawood group has its base in Dubai, London, Singapore, Colombo and Kathmandu. At the national level they operate from Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. Activities undertaken by the group include gold smuggling, drug trade, vassoli (collecting dues from businessmen), settling scores, procuring foreign exhange, supari (contract killing) securing college admission. Many of the public from all walks of life approach them for justice, be it business men, industrialists or film personalities.

The work force running the show in the group are of the following categories.

One such person was Romesh Sharma, a front man for Dawood. He is a native of Uttar Pradesh and is known in the political circle. He came to media attention after he facilitated the processing of Visa for Dawood”s mother, soon after the Mumbai Bomb Blast. It was found that Romesh had property worth 125 million USD, fixed deposit worth 175,000 USD, shares worth 250,000 USD, jewellery worth 125,000 USD and vehicles worth one million USD, without any accountable source. He had links with politicians from different parties and in 1996 he himself contested the election and floated a party, the Bhartiya Congress Party.

There are claims that Dawood is not linked to drug trade and that drug trade is undertaken by members of his group or network. It is difficult to accept that in any organised crime an activity can be undertaken without the knowledge and support of main persons for over a decade or more.

The success of crime groups in India results from poverty and feudal systems that limits the options of many and at the same time exposes them to a life beyond their means through media. Portrayal of a particular life style as the symbol of success and the pathetic reality of the majority of the population makes some take on assignments in the world of crime for minimal amount. As a result youth seek assignments for contract killing for a meagre amount of USD 25 to 50. The presence of political leaders with criminal records ranging from fraud, rape to murder in states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has not made the situation any better.

Unlike the organised crime groups members and their agents (middle men) the structure at grass root is loose with many disposable actors. According to interviews with official sources, this is true both for drug trade and other illegal activities including contract killing. This shift occurred as when members of the group got arrested, they lost trained men so the group began to give work on assignment basis. This is also less risky as the hired persons have limited information on the group. Given the presence of large number of socially and economically excluded individuals and groups/tribes, it is easy to find persons willing to take the risk and make a fast buck. Often the loose network is maintained for couriers and peddlers or their associates. The overseeing of these loose network are organised and there is strict control over the sensitive information, though this is not apparent.

There is another reason for stating this, given the extent of money involved in drug trade at the street level. For example at the rate of Rs.50 per pudi, one gram of brown sugar would cost Rs.200 (50x4=200). Then for one kilogram it would be Rs.200,000. This when considered for 3% purity would be Rs.2,000,000 considering the quantity increase with purity reduction. The daily sale of brown sugar in Mumbai, if estimated to be 5Kgs, the money involved is significant. Such huge profit margin illicit business cannot be run by poor socially and politically excluded population without support from within and outside the system.

1.     2001 (CRI) – GJX -0553 – Rajasthan

The details below are based on information provided by Mr. K from Rajasthan after his arrest for involvement drug trade, trading in methaqualone or Mandrax tablets.

XI. Total Drug Traded in the Country

Seizures of Opium, heroin, acetic anhydride and methaqualone do show a slight fluctuation through the years. Heroin seizures was the lowest in the year 1998 (655Kgs) and the next year the seizure was 861Kgs. From the years 1995-1997 the seizures of heroin originating from SWA was around 50% but subsequently the seizures for SWA heroin came down. The maximum number of detection of heroin manufacturing facilities occurred in 1999, when 36 units were dismantled. It was in the year 2002 that next largest number of heroin manufacturing units was dismantled. This may be an indication of local production to meet the demand for heroin, as 1988 was a year of military tension between India and Pakistan. Far from disturbance of one source leading to reduction in trade, it provided scope for another area to evolve and meet the requirement.

Heroin seizures made in 2000 was around 1240kgs as against 593kgs in 1999, 889kgs in 2001 and 933Kgs in 2002. This fluctuation is seen in the case of opium seizures and that of acetic anhydride in the same period. Opium seized in 2000 increased from 1,666kgs (1999) to 2684kgs. For the following years the seizure was 2533kgs in 2001 and 1867 in 2002. In the case of acetic anhydride it came down from 2963 litres in 1999 to 1337 litres in 2000. The following year it increased to 8589 litres the same amount was seized in 1997.

While there have been statements on drugs being dumped as a result of the invasion of Afghanistan interviews with officials and those involved in the trade indicate that since the border tensions with Pakistan especially after the Kargil War, 1999, the percentage of heroin from Pakistan playing any role in the drug trade from India has become insignificant. The seizures are far more an indication of increased production within India itself and this shift started about a decade ago. Another indication of that local production has increased being the seizure of acetic anhydride especially in places close to licit cultivation and legal processing units. In 2001 the total seizures was around 8,589 litres, which indicates the total illicit trade is around 85,890 litres.

XI.I. Seizures as an indication of heroin trade

Total seizure for India in 2002, which supposedly is around 10% of the drug trade, is around 933kgs. The total amount of trade then works out to 9330kgs and if one were to consider that 96%[79] is meant for local consumption then the total amount per annum is approximately 8,956Kgs per annum. The total drug consumed per day would work out to around 24.5kgs. Given the extent of low purity of the drug the figures would increase to 245kgs per day and it can cater to the needs of 245,000 users with daily consumption of 1gm and in case considering data from Mumbai the daily consumption at 2gms would mean 122,500 users. At the rate of half a gram or two pudis, it can meet the needs of 490,000 users. This is extremely conservative and is an indication that the figure 10% as indication if extent of actual trade may be inappropriate.

Another estimation put forward for illegal activities such as gold smuggling has been that actual trade is 33 times of what is stated to be the extent of illegal trade (Arun, 2000[80]). Then for 933kgs trade in heroin for 2001, then actual trade would be 30,789kgs. What would be available for local consumption at 96% would be 29,557kgs. At the rate of 3% purity at the street level heroin the total quantity available would be 295,570kgs per annum. This would indicate the amount available per day would be 809.7kgs and in case of 30% purity the amount available would be 80Kgs. This means at 3% purity the quantity that can meet the daily consumption of around 404,500 users at a rate of daily consumption of two grams and 809,000 users at the rate of 1gm daily consumption. If the consumption rate were half a gram then the needs of 1,618,000 users could be met.

This situation is far different from what has been put forward by UNDCP where it is estimated that India has been 4 million users (NCB, Annual Report, 2002). It would mean 4,000,000 users at the rate of .4% of the entire population would need 4,000,000 grams of heroin per day at the rate of 1gm daily consumption or 8,000,000gms in case of 2gms daily consumption. Then the drug needed per day would vary between 4,000,000 to 8,000,000gms per day or 4,000kgs to 8,000kgs at 3% purity and at 30% purity it would be 400 to 800kgs. In case of consider half a gram per day consumption, which is two pudis of brown sugar, the heroin needed in 200Kgs. This figure is higher than what is available as per the drug situation in India.

XI.II. Consumption within the country and its implications

According to UNDCP report that the prevalence rate of opiate user is 0.4% for India. While this is in itself highly improbable, here an attempt is made to address this within a different context.

a) For male population in India

The total population of India, for 2002 is 1,027,015,247. From this the male population being 531,277,078, as the separate figures is available for those above 60 years, which is 32,407,901, then the male population[81] to be considered is 498,869,177. Considering prevalence to be 0.4% then the users are around 1,995,476. This would mean the drug needed per day at the rate of 2gms would be 3,990,952 or 3,990kgs which would mean the drug at 30% purity would be around 399Kgs. For meeting the needs of users at the rate of a gram the amount needed would be around 199.5Kgs per day and at the rate of half a gram a day the drug needed would be 99.75Kgs.

While this total drug needed can not be met even when considering trade to be 33 times the actual trade, this estimation may be of the higher side for drugs. For unlike drug trade gold smuggling has far more support especially given the extent corruption in political system, government machinery and their links between organised groups and white collar crime.

b) For male urban population

Total urban population for India is 285. 354,954. From this when reducing 17,406,652, which is 6.1% for those above 60 years, then the population to be considered, is 267,948,302. The total male population is 133,974,151. Then considering 0.4% prevalence for drug use, the number of users is 535,896 and at consumption to be 2gms per day, the daily requirement of drug is 1071792gms. Making adjustments for purity it comes down to 1 07,179 and which is around 107kgs, and for a gram per day consumption it would be around 53Kgs per day at 30% purity.

c) Estimation of probable users from drug trade data

Considering the trade to be 33 times of the stated trade then the range of users could vary between 385,500 to 771,000. Then the percentage of drug users for male population in India would be .07% to 0.15% of male population below the age of sixty. In case of urban male population the percentage would be around .3% to .6% below the age of sixty.

For Maharashtra (capital is Mumbai) if the same figures are taken then the number of users would range from 61,534 to 123,068 for male urban population. This would mean the drug needed would range from 60kgs to 123kgs a day. At 30% purity the needed amount would be 6kgs to 12Kgs per day. The informants during interviews put the daily business in Mumbai to be around 5 to 6kgs at higher purity.

XI.III. Estimation of Opium Use

Opium use for quasi-medicinal purpose existed for decades in India, but from 1958 registration of such users was banned except under the advice of a medical board. The measure adopted has led to the reduction of opium addicts from 432,609 in 1958 to 124,904 in 1963. In the year 1966 the supposed number of opium users was 1,822[82]. This is the official stand and drastic reduction is supposed to have come about in the absence of established intervention programmes, purely on Government administrative directive. Even in the cities Drug Abuse programmes did not start till the mid nineteen eighties or later.

Drug Abuse Monitoring Systems data on profile of drug users (Siddiqui, 2002[83]) indicate that among drug users from Rajasthan, 39.8% use opium and heroin is used by 30.45% of the person who seek treatment. Seeking care for opium use became significant in Rajasthan after enforcement of NDPS Act and the Government's unplanned systematic reduction of legal outlets for distribution of opium. Other studies do indicate that the cultural practice of opium use in Rajasthan and Gujarat existed for centuries. In Gujarat it has been given as a drink to greet guest, to celebrate marriage or seal a business deal. The quantity consumed is very small but refusal can be seen as an insult (Masihi,et.al, 1994[84]). The age of those who seek treatment after the implementation is above fifty years, this is an indication that use has not led to major consequence as in the case of heroin where the age of those seek care are from lower age group.

Earlier, under law there was provision to register as an opium addict, this method of distribution which was started by the British, was continued at the time of passing of legislation Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic substances, 1985. The person has to get a certificate from a Chief medical officer and approach the government outlet for processing it. In practise however it is only those who registered in 1985, by and large, who receive this permission. Even this has without any planning been reduced systematically by closing the number of drug outlets,

Official data on registered users and opium distribution by the government and registered opium addicts from 1992-1997 (Tables 8,9,10,11). Considering the very conservative official estimate of 10,752 users and per day consumption at 1gms, the total quantity needed per day is around 10,752gms or 10kgs per day. This is around 3650kgs or 3 tonnes. While for the year 1996-97 the official opium released is 146kg for the entire country. Interview suggests that users do consume around 10grams per day as well and in that case the amount of opium needed per day would be 107Kgs per day and 39tonnes per annum.

DATA ON SUPPLY OF OPIUM FROM GOVERNMENT SOURCES IN INDIA

Table 8. Total Quantity of Opium Released by Government (Opium factory, Ghazipur)

(Quantity in Kgs.)

S.No
Name of State
1992 - 93
1993 - 94
1994 - 95
1995 - 96
1996 - 97
1
Delhi
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
-
2
Gujarat
-
15.00
-
-
12.500
3
Haryana
5.00
5.00
5.00
5.00
5.00
4
Himachal Pradesh
12.500
8.00
7.500
13.500
13.500
5
Jammu & Kashmir
3.00
3.00
3.00
2.500
-
6
Karnataka
-
-
-
-
-
7
Kerala
20.00
-
-
-
-
8
Maharashtra
90.00
90.00
110.00
110.00
-
9
Madhya Pradesh
-
5.00
-
5.00
-
10
Nagaland
1.00
1.00
-
1.00
-
11
Orissa
-
400.00
-
400.00
-
12
Punjab
29.865
52.756
42.184
32.522
-
13
Rajasthan
20.000
20.00
15.00
25.00
25.00
14
Tamil Nadu
90.00
90.00
-
90.00
90.00
15
Uttar Pradesh
-
-
0.500
-
-
16
West Bengal
525.00
500.00
495.00
495.00
-

SOURCE: The Narcotics Commissioner, as cited in UNDCP: ROSA, South Asia Drug Demand Reduction Report –1988, New Delhi : UNDCP Regional Office for South Asia, 1998, p.269

Table 9. Number of Registered Opium Addicts, India

S.No
Name of State
1992-93
1993-94
1994-95
1995-96
1996-97

1

Delhi

150

135

123

109

93

2

Gujarat

45

12

n.a

n.a

29

3

Haryana

n.a

70

90

90

91

4

Himachal Pradesh

82

64

64

61

60

5

Jammu & Kashmir

25

25

27

21

21

6

Karnataka

n.a

n.a

n.a

2

nil

7

Kerala

122

n.a

74

n.a

41

8

Maharashtra

262

272

321

355

351

9

Madhya Pradesh

11

9

8

n.a

n.a

10

Nagaland

3

3

3

3

3

11

Orissa

n.a

2,506

2,506

2,506

1,536

12

Punjab

753

679

586

438

n.a

13

Rajasthan

71

63

59

59

45

14

Tamil Nadu

330

300

n.a

289

282

15

Uttar Pradesh

n.a

1

n.a

n.a

1

16

West Bengal

13,139

12,717

11,465

11,497

8,199

  TOTAL

14,993

16,856

15,326

15,430

10,752

SOURCE: The Narcotics Commissioner, as cited in UNDCP: ROSA, South Asia Drug Demand Reduction Report –1988, New Delhi : UNDCP Regional Office for South Asia, 1998, p.268.

Table 10. Number of Opium Distribution Outlets (State – Wide), India

Sr.No.

Name of State

No.of Distribution Outlets

1

Delhi

1

2

Gujarat

10

3

Haryana

3

4

Himachal Pradesh

4

5

Jammu & Kashmir

4

6

Karnataka

Information is not available

7

Kerala

16

8

Maharashtra

12

9

Madhya Pradesh

Information is not available

10

Nagaland

1

11

Orissa

30

12

Punjab

6

13

Rajasthan

6

14

Tamil Nadu

19

15

Uttar Pradesh

1

16

West Bengal

18

 

Total

131

SOURCE: The Narcotics Commissioner, as cited in UNDCP: ROSA, South Asia Drug Demand Reduction Report –1988, New Delhi : UNDCP Regional Office for South Asia, 1998, p.269

Table 11. Total Quantity of Opium Sanctioned by Central Bureau of Narcotics

(Quantity In Kg. Rounded To The Nearest 100 Grams)

Sl.No.

Name of State

1992 - 93

1993 - 94

1994 - 95

1995 - 96

1996 - 97

1997 - 98

1

Delhi

50

50

50

50

-

30

2

Gujarat

-

15

-

-

12.5

-

3

Haryana

5

5

5

5

5

5

4

Himachal Pradesh

12.5

8

7.5

13.5

13.5

13.5

5

Jammu & Kashmir

3

3

3

2.5

-

-

6

Karnataka

-

-

-

-

-

-

7

Kerala

20

-

-

-

-

-

8

Maharashtra

90

90

110

110

110

110

9

Madhya Pradesh

-

5

-

5

-

-

10

Nagaland

1

1

-

1

1

-

11

Orissa

-

400

-

400

200

-

12

Punjab

29.9

52.8

42.2

32.5

20

-

13

Rajasthan

20

20

15

25

25

24

14

Tamil Nadu

90

90

-

90

90

90

15

Uttar Pradesh

-

-

0.5

-

-

0.5

16

West Bengal

525

500

495

495

-

200

SOURCE: The Narcotics Commissioner, as cited in UNDCP: ROSA, South Asia Drug Demand Reduction Report –1988, New Delhi : UNDCP Regional Office for South Asia, 1998, p.271.

Opium distribution outlets also bring forth an important issue the quantity sanctioned per state for sale. As per different sources the main states where opium consumption is prevalent are Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Yet in Uttar Pradesh there is only one outlet and for Madhya Pradesh the figure is not available. For Rajasthan there were six outlets for opium sale. This is contradictory for in the absence of legal outlets the users are encouraged to seek illicit channels and this is not difficult in opium growing areas. For the year 1997-1998 the opium released by Central Bureau of Narcotics for Uttar Pradesh was .5kgs and the number of users was given as one for the years 1993 and 1996. This is difficult to accept given the social and cultural acceptance accorded for opium in the state.

Opium Users

Consumption of opium is prevalent in the Northern part of India, especially in states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhaya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Though there are other states even taking conservative estimation of prevalence for the rural population of these three states the quantity of opium needed annually is significant.

Rural population to be considered for each state is for Madhya Pradesh 76.82% of the total male population (34,232,048), Uttar Pradesh 80.16% of total male population (73,745,944) and Rajasthan 77.11% of total population (22,935,895) At the rate of .2% prevalence rate the figures work out to 52,594 opium users in Madhya Pradesh, 118,229 users in Uttar Pradesh and 35367 opium users in Rajasthan. The total being 206,190 opium users and per day consumption for these users would range from 1 gm to 10gms per day, which would indicate between 206,190gms to 2,061,940gms or 206 to 2061Kgs. Annual requirement would between 75,190Kgs to 75,2265Kgs or 75 to 752 tonnes.

Computation of the number of users as per official data, i.e. 432,609 for male population of 55 million in 1951, shows that the percentage of opium users is around 7% of the total male population. Calculation based on same percentage for the rural population of three states Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan works out to (7% of 103,097,675) 7,216,837 users. Per day consumption at 1 gm daily to ten grams daily would be between 7,216,837gms to 72,168,370gms, this would be 7,216Kgs to 72,168Kgs. Annual consumption would be 2,633 tonnes to 26,341 tonnes. This is far too large a figure to be met by local sources based on data available, so there is an indication that opium use has reduced.

XI.IV. Poppy Straw

NCB reports on poppy husk consumption or `doda” intake as it is locally known in parts of India. After extraction of opium latex from the capsules of poppy plants, the lanced capsules are left to dry in the fields. From these capsules the cultivators remove the poppy seeds. The lanced and dried capsules containing traces of opium are called poppy straw. The major alkaloid present in the poppy straw is morphine, which varies from .11 to 0.19%.

According to study on profile of treatment seekers (Siddiqui, 2002) based on data from Drug Monitoring Systems, opium use is 8.6% of the national sample and it is 42.7% for sample from Punjab. Other substances consumed are alcohol (18.9%) and propoxyphene (6.6%).Data collected for the present study from health professional, treatment centre, national law enforcement officials and other informants, opium is consumed in the form of doda. From the field data and court cases it is seen that enforcement officials are taking strong action against poppy straw trade and not so in the case of synthetic opiates, as a result there is a shift from the use of poppy straw to synthetic opiates.

The possession, transport and sale of poppy straw is governed by rules framed by the state government under section 10 of NDPS Act, 1985. In certain states use is banned and not regulated by legislation and this leads to trafficking. The seizures of poppy straw are significant in States of Punjab and Haryana and this is leading to a shift to synthetic opiates. Given the higher potency of synthetic opiates and absence of cultural mechanisms of control this shift would be far more threatening for the region. The presence of cultural control over use of cannabis and opium has been indicated also in interview with international law enforcement officials, professionals and community informants.

This is the main substance of use in Punjab. It is consumed in the form tea or a drink. If one were to consider at .2% prevalence for rural population (70.45% of 10695136 (total population), it would be 21390 users.

XI.V. Synthetic Users

One of the issues that will confront the country, given the present trend, is the use of synthetic opiates. The result of present drug policy programmes which do not consider the cultural reality nor the mechanisms of cultural control would be to encourage shift to synthetic opiates and pharmaceutical substances that have no cultural base. This shift is already largely reported in North Eastern States and urban cities in India, such a shift would be difficult to control for drug use has never been controlled through legislation, it is non-formal norms within the given cultural and community that restricted spread of drug use and continues to do so in the rural areas.

Brown sugar was available in Chennai from 1983 and it had links to the political turmoil in Sri Lanka. Until 1985, the drug problem was predominantly confined to the college students and youth from the elite circle, then brown sugar was sold at Rs.50 per gram. Later drug use spread to the lower income group and slum youth, this was made possible for the drug became available at the street level at ¼ gram unit. This led to increase in brown sugar use among the age group or 15 to 25 years.

The years following 1988 showed a shift from brown sugar use to use of buprenorphine. This drug is manufacture in India had was available for medicinal use and legally sold at the rate of Rs. 10 for 2 ampoule. The shift occurred because of different reasons:

With police action and focus on abuse of buprenorphine by media and NGOs the drug became available in the illicit market. This control existed only in Chennai city and not small towns, soon this substance was brought form rural areas and sold in the city through the same network that sold brown sugar. In the illicit market 2ml buprenorphine was sold at Rs. 40.

As the users realised buprenorphine though useful did not generate a feeling of high so they began to use combination of drugs to achieve the same. Some of the substances used were diazepam, calmpose, diphenhydramine and at times phenargan.

XII. Drug Trade in Mumbai (Maharashtra)

Mumbai is the capital city of Maharshtra State consisting of 33 districts. It has a total population of 96,752,247 and of this the urban population is around 42.40%. The capital of the state is Mumbai, it is also the financial centre of India[86] and an important spot for distribution of drug within and the outside of the cities. The population of Mumbai is 11,914,398 and estimated requirement per day for heroin is around 6Kgs to 12Kgs at 30% purity level. According to interviews[87] undertaken the drug demand of the city is met by desi mal or Indian heroin. The drug consignment is brought to the city by road rail and often by public transportation. Private transportation is also used, especially truck drivers bring the substances and at times, they themselves are users[88]. Seizures indicate that for transportation hidden cavities are created but the owner of the truck is never implicated though informants do indicate that such planned effort cannot be done without the knowledge of the owner.

The monetary returns from drug sale at the street level is an interesting indication of turn over of daily business and also of the possibility that the network may be far more organised than is evident from the surface. It is also an important source for protection money for organised crime groups and corruption money for officials. The presence of protection money is indicated by another study where when a peddler is arrested even inside the jail he had to pay money for the members from crime groups as drug business is highly profitable.

XII.I. Distribution and street sale profits

The main routes for distribution from the place of production of licit cultivation to destinations in Mumbai and other places occur through trade and rail routes. The drug is carried in quantities of one kilo and women also form a part of the group who courier. Though the couriers are large in number, the persons overseeing distribution, hired as agents by the groups are small in number those in charge of small crime groups in the city which have control over specific regions.

According to street level informants and official sources the links with licit cultivation networks has become better established during four / five years; prior to which different retailers went to the cultivating and processing areas and bought the item. Since the presence of agents willing to make the delivery the situation has changed dealers also prefer this as it involves less risk[89].Interviews with national experts indicate that heroin consignments are delivered at the city from cultivating areas, for the purpose they themselves come to the city or utilise the services of mules.

The wholesale price of heroin in Mumbai is between Rs.180,000 – Rs.200,000[90], according to other sources it varies between Rs.200,000 to 250,000. As this substance is stated to be at purity level of 30% and it comes down to 3% purity when sold in the streets, one kilogram of heroin at 30% purity becomes 10Kgs at the street. The substance is made into small street units or pudi and sold at price range of Rs.15-Rs. 50, at this rate a gram is sold at Rs. 60- Rs. 200 and a Kilograms is sold at Rs.60,000-Rs. 200,000. From one Kilo the total income (for ten Kilograms) would be Rs.600,000 to Rs.2,000,000(also based on interviews)[91].

The amount of heroin is increased by cutting (adulterating) and thereby reducing purity, the substances used for cutting are metahqualone, boric powder, atta (flour) etc. Apparently these additives are also sold by the same distributors and the price is around Rs. 40 to Rs.4000 per kilogram, depending on the adulterant used. The large scale seizures of pharmaceutical drugs and Mandrax in cultivating areas also indicate it is being used extensively, while users” data does not show large scale consumption of Mandrax.

The frequently used drug indicated from user's data has been Nitravet, it is taken as a substitute when brown sugar supply is low or the quality very bad. This also indicates a shift to medicinal products.

XII.II. Profile of couriers at international and national levels

Cocaine is a substance brought into India by couriers and it is sold to the elite populace in different cities. The same courier takes out heroin and Mandrax to other countries. According to arrest data of Mumbai police on foreign nationals from 1986 it is 69 Nigerians, 46 Tanzanians, 24 Sri Lankans, 22 Afghans, 21 Pakistanis, 15 Somalians, and 1 Bangladeshi and other foreign nationals being 84[92].

Interviews with different professionals and others indicate nationals from different African countries continue to be a major portion of international couriers in many parts of the country. Mainly they belong to Nigeria, Tanzania, Somalia, Ghana and Uganda. According to the enforcement agencies they came to India with tourist, education or business visas, then they overstay. When nabbed for drug offences they say they have lost their travel documents and this makes deportation difficult. In 1997 from the various 350 cases 150 were against African nationals[93]. This trend does continue but there are also statements that the cases take very long to be heard and disposed off and even after being acquitted as the agency continued the dispute, the case drags on. Since the case is not closed the individual even if acquitted is forced to stay in India as the police take away his/her passport. Stranded in India with minimal options for finance they turn to criminal groups who are willing to take care of them, against future assignment. There is a demand for African nationals as there are hardly any other takers for couriering substances on person or rather within the human system. There is also allegation that enforcement officials tend to pick Nigerians on suspicion and the process tends to drive them closer to criminal groups, being stranded in a foreign country[94]

In August 1999, a Nigerian national Ahmed Adebay was arrested at Sahar airport just as he was about to board an Ethiopian airlines flight. He admitted to NCB officials he had swallowed 50 capsules of heroin. The total quantity in the capsules was 1.3kgs[95].

Within the country the couriers both male and female take on these activities for a small sum of Rs.2,000-3,000. In case of African nationals they are paid around $3,000 per assignment with expenses and travel taken care of.

According to official sources in case of international couriering of drugs there are those who are professionals and are aware of the substances or the contents of the packages they are carrying and there are those who carry without realising anything about the packages except as a packet given by a friend. Under such circumstances the detection is more in the case of professional couriers. One in ten persons couriering are detected for the detection is based on body language and so the detection of the other type of couriers is one in hundred cases.

There are also the instances of transporting drugs as part of air, sea and land cargo. According to officials the last two modes is used more in the case of hashish and Mandrax heroin is usually taken by air. Yet there are indication that heroin is trafficked as cargo; the seizure of 3kgs of heroin on a ship hidden inside the overhead exhaust duct pipes running along the ceiling, the crew toilets on the upper deck of the vessel. The ship arrived at Mumbai port, it came from Karachi and was bound for Durban (South Africa) and Antwerp (Belgium)[96]

According to officials sources for trade within the country the drugs are carried hidden inside false cabinets in trunks and cars. It is stated that drug use in such well concealed design within vehicles can only be done through support of the owners of vessels[97].

XII.III. A profile of drug dealings area

In Mumbai city and its suburbs there are more than a dozen places where drugs are sold from early morning to late in the night. Each location may have 2-4 peddlers providing various substances for the drug users. At times there is an informal understanding between peddlers in the same area; more often than not peddlers try to gain more control by providing tips to enforcement agencies. To avoid legal problems it seems that individuals dealing in the substance give a regular monthly bribe to different police persons from different divisions or agencies.

In this area five years ago, there were four different peddlers, now it has come down to two dealers but the business has increased. Many small peddlers come and buy the stuff. In case of Mrs. X a peddler it is a family business with her two sisters and her brother-in-law being partners in the business. Whenever they have been in jail for short periods of time (1-2 years) the business has been carried on by the other members or their manager. Apparently after Mrs. X spent time in jail she established contact whereby she got the support to expand her business. Study on organised crime in Mumbai indicated the jail as an important training place for new recruit or others to sharpen their skills in various criminal addictives and for networking with others for the same (Charles, et al, 2002).

Steps involved in the business

She purchases 10kgs at a time and this is sent to a specified pocket far away from the place of sale and there mixing and packaging is done. Only a kg at a time is taken for mixing and the persons involved in helping at mixing are paid Rs.500 per day.

Mixing and packaging into pudis is done in an enclosed place where even food is provided inside. The persons are locked in from the outside after entering the place and the activity continues till 10kgs of heroin is mixed and packed in pudis (sachets) for sale.

A person is put in charge of mixing to ensure that cutting down the drug does not make the substance useless. The person either tests the drug himself for texture and colour and/or consumes it.

At present they are provided both heroin and the cutting material (adulterant) to be added. Earlier Mrs. X”s brother-in-law went and purchased the material from the cultivating area. Now in case there is an emergency they place a call and the substance is delivered. All of them have mobile phones.

To ensure the smooth running of the business they state they make monthly pay offs to the police, local leaders, others who can cause trouble. Such pay offs are always made on a monthly basis and records are maintained by a person in charge of accounts. Interview with national experts indicate that while direct links may exist between political leaders at the cultivating areas, this is not seen in the city for they fear the press and drug dealers at street level are seen as criminals.

Large quantities of the substance are never kept at the point of sale and that is the reason why there are no major seizures. The peddler distributes bundles of 60 pudis to her assistants for which the dealer receives Rs. 3,000 after the sale of every bundle, and the next bundle is given. Even the dealer has his/her periodic deliveries made under the same understanding.

The actual handing over is done by assistants who earn two pudis for every bundle sold. There are both users and non users among them, Mrs. X prefers non users as users tend to cut the stuff even further spoiling her reputation as a supplier and also they are more noticeable.

Another group of persons are employed as watchers” keeping a lookout for inquisitive persons. Youth who undertake this job are provided mobile phones and a few among them are given motorbikes. The interviews showed about 25 youth employed for the purpose are being paid between Rs.200-500 a day.

The media has also reported on local drug sales and according to their reports women take to drug peddling for socioeconomic reasons. It is almost an established small scale economic activity. In some cases entire families are involved in packaging and distribution. Since these are enterprises run from unorganised areas it is is difficult to trace[98].

XIII. User Dimensions

XIII.I. National Data

Prior to focusing on the probable consumption of heroin in Mumbai city, available data on drug use pattern in the country is presented. Drug Abuse Monitoring Systems (DAMS) (Siddiqui, 2002) collected data from 203 treatment centres from 23 States, two union territories and Delhi, the national capital. The total sample of users is 16942. According to the study the mean average age is 35.3 years, 97.2% of the users are male and number of respondents for the study were equally distributed between rural (51.7%) and urban (48.3%) areas. Female users were reported from three states and their state wise data showed for Andra Pradesh 10.5%, Manipur 9.8% and Mizoram 6.9% were women. In Andra Pradesh when considering the substance of use, it is alcohol (73%), cannabis (11.3%) and inhalants (3.6%). In case of other two states, it is heroin for Manipur (32.2%) and propoxyphene (25.2%) for Mizoram.

Though there is no separate data given in terms of whether females are using opiates, from the national data it seem probable only in these states females may be using opiates to the extent as it to be reflected in the data collected. From field observation and past studies do indicate that drug use especially heroin and opiates is far lower among females. In one instance a government detoxification centre in Mumbai city, set up a separate ward for female users but was unable to sustain as there were no adequate demand, centres that do run a separate ward for females heroin users, at present the alcoholics are also admitted.

For both rural and urban areas, the most common substance of use is alcohol (43.9%), heroin (11.1%), cannabis (11.1%), opium (8.6%), propoxyphene (2.6%) and others (18.5%). Under the category others substances included are tobacco products, ayurvedic medicines and non narcotic pain killers. Across the states, union territories and Delhi the highest percentage of heroin users was 17.3% in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Delhi (16.3%), West Bengal (15%), Manipur (10.1%) and Bihar (10%).

Unlike this study based on data from treatment service, the Rapid Assessment Survey of Drug Abuse (Kumar, 2002) the focus was on use of drugs other than alcohol. It was undertaken with specific focus on use of opiates and injecting behaviour for four metropolitan cities (Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkatta) and Imphal, capital of Manipur state. Among drug users 71.1% is heroin consumers, 25.8% users of other opiates and 1.3% take sedatives. In case of another group of cities (Amritsar, Jamshedpur, Dimapur, Shillong and Jowai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Thiruvanathapuram, Goa and Ahmedabad) the highest percentage is cannabis users (36.7%), other opiates (30.4%), heroin (13%) and sedatives (5.3%).

The presence of 13% for heroin use in the second sample is because of Thiruvanathapuram consists of 46% each of heroin and cannabis users for the total sample of 308 for the city. Removal of sample from the total brings down the percentage of heroin users for rest of cities to 2%. This is an indication of the problem in using data from many studies undertaken in India, to estimate the percentage of heroin users for the country. Data is often collected in a focused manner to include maximum number of heroin users. For the same period data from DAMS indicate that for Kerala (capital is Thirunvanathapuram) the main substance of use reported by centres are Alcohol (50.8%0, cannabis (16.9%) and minor tranquilisers (5.3%). It is the manner of interpretation and presentation of data collected that appears to indicate extensive heroin use across the country, while heroin is far more an urban problem than a rural concern. At the same time dependence on data from treatment centres is not adequate for users have to pay for treatment service and heavy users of heroin, who seek treatment spent far more money on drugs than others as a result rarely have the resources to utilise the same. It is only those users who have support structure and are not into heavy use can seek treatment, unless the services are free and user friendly.

The data for DAMS consisted of 10,417 sample from rural areas and 9,752 from urban areas. For both the areas majority of the users came from the group 31 years to 40 years; and the main substance of use is alcohol with 46.2% for rural areas and 41.5% for urban areas. The percentage of other drugs is 15.9% for rural areas and 23.6% for urban users; in case of cannabis it is 13.4% for rural sample and 9.6 for urban areas. Heroin use is reported by 14.9% of the urban sample and 7.9% of the rural sample and other opiates is used by 16.6% of rural sample and 10.7% of urban sample.

XIII. II. Mumbai City and Drug Use

The main substances used in Mumbai other than cannabis and alcohol, (as identified from data available from interviews with users and treatment centres), are heroin, opium, morphine, codeine derivatives (phensedyl, corex), tranquilisers (nitravet, trika), synthetic opiates (relipen, spasmoproxyvon, tidigesic, fortwin, painkillers), diazepam and methoquolone. Among these above heroin, nitravet, synthetic opiates and codeine derivatives are the main substances of use.

Table 12. Data from Drug users on Consumption pattern (Mumbai)

Data is based on admission register and individual case papers for three years of inpatients in a de-addiction centre, Mumbai.

Year

No:of Users

Mode of use

Quantity consumed per day

¸mount Spent

Duration of use before seeking treatment

Other drugs used.

1998-1999

148

Chase

Injection (29)

3.5gms

RS.420

11 years

Nitravet

Valium

Buprenorphine

And Spasmoproxymon

1999-2000

214

Chase

Injection (13)

2gms 1pudi

Rs. 270

11.4 years

Same

2001-2002

187

Chase

Injection (10)

2gms

1 pudi

Rs.270

12.4 years

Same

2002-2003

188

Chase

Injection

(16)

1gm 3 pds

Rs.210

10 years

Same

Since the mid eighties the presence of brown sugar has slowly increased even though the use has not become very widespread. From the early nineties new drugs entered the market. Use of nitravet began in 992, and it increased from 1998.

Data from a major treatment centre indicated that from 1999-2002 around 30% of the users consumed nitravet tablets. From the mid 1990”s there has been an increase in the consumption of codeine derivatives, a pattern that was earlier seen only in the North Eastern States and not in other parts of India.

Heroin Consumption

According to data (Table 12) on 764 users the average consumption per day for brown sugar is around 9 pudis (250mg X 9 = 2.25 grams). At the present rate for pudi (Rs.30-50) the daily expenditure on the drug works out to around Rs.400. This data is from treatment centre where majority of the users are street level addicts who have been using for ten years or more. Hence, their daily consumption would be higher than regular users who have just started or controlled their daily intake. When one consider users of lower quantity, of two pudis per day the daily expenditure is Rs.60 to Rs.100. In addition to this there are places where cheap adulterated heroin can be bought for Rs.15 per pudi. This is based on earlier study done on drug use in Mumbai (Charles, et, al, 1999[99]) and recent interview data on consumption during initial period.

Drug free periods for users vary from a month to three months after treatment however the percentage of users seeking treatment may be minimal. The General Hospitals (Public Hospitals) look on it as a specialised medical problem and direct users to de-addiction centres. The option for treatment available for users are limited, especially access to inpatient care.

The inpatient facilities available for users in the city of Mumbai are not too large as there are approximately 200-250 beds in the city of Mumbai a majority of them catering to alcohol users than heroin functional users, who can pay for the treatment an amount beyond the capacity of street users. The only other option is a Government Treatment centre but it is far from adequate to meet the demand for care. Hence in calculating the annual consumption on rough estimates of users it may be difficult to consider that every user is uniformly drug free for a month in every year.

Another issue is that users do not seek treatment during the initial stages data from an interview of ten users show that they seek treatment after a period of use of eight years and in case of data collected from 737 users it is around 11 years.

Users state that there are two types of brown sugar, desi mal and Afghani mal; and they use good quality “desi mal”. The African mal (Negro mals as it is known in the streets) is considered purer and it gets its street name as Africans are involved in couriering the high quality drug. Earlier the better quality drug was called “Afghani mal”. Today users state that only “desi mal” is available.

The mode of consumption appears to be changing to injecting among a small percentage in select pockets. There appears to be two types of injectors the ones who consume the drug only by injecting it and the users who both chase and inject the drug.

According to users when they have been chasing for years the act of injecting alone gives less pleasure as it gets over too soon. Those who started off injecting the drug find that they never get the high they seek by chasing the drug.

On 10th May 2002 the officers of customs, Mumbai apprehended a Nigerian national at CSI airport and seized 0.976 kgs of heroin from his possession. The drug was concealed in the false bottom of his hand baggage, he was arrested. The suspected destination of the drug was Lagos via Nairobi.

On the 23rd of the same month the officers of the Directorate of revenue Intelligence, Mumbai apprehended one person at the CGO (Central Government Officers) complex, CDB Belapur and seized 6.168kgs of heroin from his possession, he was arrested.

In yet another incident the Air Intelligence Unit, Customs, Mumbai on the 26th of June 2002 seized 11.742kgs of heroin from the baggage that was checked in by a Guinea national at CSI Airport, the foreign national was arrested.

The officers of the Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai Zonal Unit apprehended a Kenyan National on the 6th of May 2002 at CSI Airport, Mumbai. A search of his checked in baggage led to the seizure of 3.250 kgs of heroin. The drug was concealed in 99 black capsules concealed in the mudguard (fender) lights for motor vehicles. He was arrested, the suspected destination of the drug was Douala, Nairobi, Kenya.

On May 6th 2002, Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai Zonal Unit apprehended a Kenyan lady at CSI airport Mumbai and seized 5.4000 kgs of heroin from her checked in baggage. she was arrested the suspected destination was Nairobi Kenya.

As a follow up action to the seizures by the Delhi Zonal Unit on 4th January 2002 the officers of the Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai Zonal Unit searched a room of Hotel Holiday Inn, Juhu which resulted in the recovery and seizure of 5kgs of heroin packed in a blue coloured suitcase and US$8000, UK£1400. One Kenyan national and a Ugandan national were arrested in this connection (Above mentioned details are based on annual NCB reports).

On 28th May 1997 NCB officers seized 23kgs of heroin from a car at Grant Road, Mumbai. The persons arrested were a Sri Lankan national and a sales agent of Pakistani Drug Consignments (it means that the person who was handling the transportation of drug brought in from Pakistan for distribution) in Mumbai. Both were chief operators for their country”s trade here. The syndicate dealt with 1,200 to 1,600 kgs of drugs annually. (This is around 64 million Euro at the rate of 4000 Euros per Kilogram).

The drug related assignments for transportation, purchase and export are all done and completed on the spot or as soon as possible. According to available information, the amount is settled in cash as far as possible, and if a person is arrested he would prefer to take on the full blame as far as possible rather than name another person as far as possible and even when he/she has information it is minimal and no way of proving anything about main links.

Its kingpin a Tamilian (nationality unknown) is still at large. He used to bring fresh recruits from Sri Lanka who would later be sent to Canada and Europe after putting in a few years of service in drug running here, both Toronto and London have LTTE links.

The arrested person also told NCB that he used to funnel drug money to Dubai in the name of one Choudhry through hawala channels. The group was supposed to be linked to Haji, a Pakistani don[100].

XIV. Drug Enforcement Agencies

The present drug policy of the Government of India defines addiction to drug as a psycho-social medical problem, which can be best dealt with community based interventions. Towards this objective Government of India implements a programme called “Scheme for prevention of Alcoholism and Substances (Drugs) Abuse”. It funds Non-Governmental Organisations with funds to generate awareness and sensitise the community, motivate the addicts for treatment and ensure their socio-economic rehabilitation through long term community based programmes. Under this scheme the government supports around 450 centres all over the country with an average allocation of over Rs.20crores (approximately US $ 4.5 million). Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is in charge of implementing these programmes across the country.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is also involved in Drug Demand Reduction activities for which it implements intervention programmes through 100 de-addiction Centres in district hospitals, primary health centres etc. Besides these ventures there are agencies who are working on their own, but their programme broadly fits the overall policy of the Government for Drug Demand Reduction. Resource management is another area focussed upon, for which a system for collection, compilation and analysis of information sent by implementing agencies is undertaken. The objective being to monitor trends, extent and pattern of drug abuse in the country so that the programmes and intervention can be effectively formulated.

Towards strengthening the focus on community based intervention Government of India, the United Nations International Drug Control Programmes (UNDCP) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) are collaborating with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the nodal agency for demand reduction programmes, through the following specific projects called Community Wide Demand Reduction in India (AD/IND/99/E40- popularly known as E40) and Community Wide Demand Reduction in North-Eastern States of India (AD/IND/99/E41-popularly known as E41).

The overall objective of these national level programmes is to strengthen the NGO based intervention programmes. In a recent effort to gather authentic information on drug abuse patterns in the country, the Government of India has undertaken a Project on National Survey on the trends, extent and pattern of drug abuse in the country in collaboration with UNDCP (UNODC). It utilises Household survey, Rapid Assessment Surveys and Drug Abuse Monitoring Systems in order to arrive at best possible approximation of the drug scenario in the country.

Along with drug demand reduction control of HIV/AIDS among substance abusers is also focussed upon. It is assumed that around 4 million Indians are infected with HIV virus. As there is a close link between substance abuse and HIV, the most visible link being unsafe injecting practice, in addition to this is presence of unsafe sexual practices during periods of intoxication and after detoxification in an attempt to normalise perceptions of self.

For control of drug supply different activities are undertaken by enforcement agencies from the Central and State level administration. From the Central level the agencies involved are Narcotics Control Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Customs and Control Excise, Central Bureau of Narcotics, Border Security (BSF) or Coast Guard and Central Bureau of Intelligence. At the State level the agencies Police and Excise.

As per seizure data (Table 13) large quantity of acetic anhydride, opium and methaqualone are seized in comparison to heroin. Seizure of cocaine continues to be very low. methaqualone which was seized in large quantities in 1994 and 1995 has come down from 45,319kgs to 2024kgs in 2001. This stark difference is not seen either in case of opium or heroin.

Table 13. Seizures of Various Drugs in Kilos and Persons Arrested

Drug Type

 

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Opium

Seizures & Cases

2145

566

1918

1286

3011

1679

2256

1171

1349

871

2876

977

3316

1333

2031

954

1635

927

2684

1257

2533

1205

1867

1167

Morphine

Seizures

Cases

6

21

35

138

36

105

51

145

4

35

4

37

128

75

19

56

36

125

39

142

26

146

66

148

Heroin

Seizures

Cases

622

1158

1153

2779

1088

3383

1011

3331

1681

3236

1257

3043

1332

2990

655

3095

861

2937

1240

2841

889

3891

933

4328

Cocaine

Seizures

Cases

0.008

1

0.420

4

2

4

1.580

6

40

6

3

8

24

6

1

6

1

4

0.350

5

2

10

2

5

methaqualone

Seizures

Cases

4415

78

7475

167

15004

283

45319

457

20485

196

2212

405

1740

207

2257

114

474

8

1095

31

2024

8

7458

7

Phenobarbital

Seizures

Cases

0

0

118020

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

426

8

930

5

 

Amphetamine

Seizures

Cases

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

11

0

0

0

0

Acetic Anhydride

Seizures

Cases

0

0

0

0

19758

22

47740

40

9282

26

4627

14

8311

12

6197

9

2963

7

1337

14

8589

8

3288

4

LSD

Sq Paper

Seizures

Cases

0

0

50

0

164

1

256

0

113

1

1285

7

0

0

45

1

240

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

In case of involvement of foreigners in trade the percentage is only .8% of the total persons arrested for drug trade. For the last five years it has remained at .6% to .8% of the total number of persons arrested.

With regard to involvement of different agencies in seizures undertaken, tables indicate 96% of the seizures are made by State Agencies. There is hardly any joint operation except for isolated incidents in case of heroin and LSD. (Table 14)

Table 14. Seizures made by Different Agencies in India

Agencies

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

Narcotics

Control

Bureau

68

88

116

90

38

61

81

65

81

65

 

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence

5

5

18

29

28

21

18

35

31

33

27

Customs and Excise

186

518

474

417

272

158

228

289

66

184

58

Central Bureau of Narcotics

81

114

79

70

65

108

252

213

69

142

108

Border Security Forces

34

42

125

180

276

206

122

121

47

46

108

CBI

0

0

12

6

1

4

1

4

4

2

0

State Agencies (Total)

4924

11984

12694

13865

12119

12342

13255

11717

12722

11976

14545

Police

(state agency)

0

0

12497

13526

11833

12314

13223

11547

12657

11419

14057

Excise

0

0

197

339

286

28

32

170

65

557

488

Joint operation

0

0

0

0

0

15

1

0

0

1

0

 

Table 14 (a). Drug Seized by (in KGs) State Police

 

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

Opium

2185

1017

2196

1751

1044

2287

1675

1374

1430

2182

1892

Morphine

2

30

34

20

2

2

42

3

15

37

25

Heroin

347

938

638

530

430

326

511

195

238

632

334

Cocaine

0.008

0.11

1

1.2

37

0

0

0

0

0

1

methaqualone

269

4346

4736

20462

5117

443

1134

108

93

90

0

Phenobarbital

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

74

792

L.S.D (sq paper)

0

50

164

256

0

648

0

45

224

0

0

Acetic Anhydride (litres)

0

0

2257

18815

3609

740

1073

39

70

256

0

 

Table 14 (b). Drug Seized by (in KGs.) State Excise

 

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

Opium

0

7

3

0

0

0

0

1

1

2

5

Morphine

0

1

69 AMPS

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Heroin

6

8

12

8

9

0

0

8

2

6

4

L.S.D (sq paper)

0

0

0

0

113

637

0

0

16

0

0

Phenobarbital

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

52

Based on the data available on persons prosecuted under NDPS Act for the last six years, the rate of conviction has increased to above 20% in comparison to 1991 to 1995 when the rate of conviction ranged from 10% to 19% as seen in table below.

 

Table 15. Action taken against Persons involved in Drug Trafficking

 

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

No of persons

Prosecuted

5546

7172

9964

9154

12918

12198

13203

11079

10841

19162

12358

No of persons convicted

855

761

1488

1245

2456

2963

2796

2673

2891

4447

3419

No of persons acquitted

1940

1762

1633

3156

3914

6102

4944

5488

4632

5416

4712

Some of the issues brought forward by informants involved in implementation of the legislations are:

  • This information involves all cases, that is from session court, high court and Supreme Court. The data include cases that came to high court and Supreme Court for disposal. As result of interviews with lawyers, officials and through Court case analysis it is evident that most acquittals are based on failure to adhere to technical procedures as laid down by Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Especially under the Sections, 50, 42, 67 and 55. A study undertaken in Himachal Pradesh showed that witnesses turning hostile led to acquittals of many under the NDPS Act. It is alleged that witnesses are invariably given monetary incentives to change their stand/declaration. Besides, money muscle power is also used to make the witnesses more flexible. Money paid to witnesses range from Rs.5,000 to Rs.50,000. At times it is as little as Rs.500 for a street person to turn hostile later (Charles, M, 2001[104]).

  • From the total 350 High Court Judgement cases, most are with regard to courier or small time farmers in cultivating areas. The amount seized mentioned is very small.

XIV.I. Corruption in Enforcement Agency officials:

The existence of corruption is unofficially stated by most of the informants, though there have been a few cases where the officials have been arrested or convicted for their crime. At the maximum they are transferred or dismissed. Corruption among officials has been indicated by interviews with informants and also International Law enforcement official and two years ago the Head of Customs was charged with corruption. To illustrate existence of corruption below are some of the instances of media reporting on corruption among officials.

XV. Conclusion

The drug trade in India is determined by the local social cultural reality in addition to geographical position in terms of vulnerability to trade whether being close to border areas or poppy cultivating areas in the country. At present the drug demand within the country and some extent of export requirements are meet by opium deviated from licit cultivation and then locally processed. The presence of varied sources for heroin is indicated from the trade markings on consignment and pattern of packing. In addition to this the variation in purity and price in different locations in India is an indication of varied sources for heroin.

The process of criminalisation instead of controlling drug trade as created scope for spread of derivatives of opium in urban areas; and in the rural setting where social norms still have strong hold, it is opium that is preferred. Along with this the situation is made complex with shift to synthetic drugs in parts of India, where controlled use of opium ( in milder form) existed. As majority of the Indian population live in rural areas the number of opium users are far more than heroin or brown sugar users, this containment of the harm is not related to drug policy but to the local social cultural reality that exists in the area. The profit margin in trade of opium illegally and in dealing with synthetic derivatives is strengthened by the presence of corruption in different levels of the society. Any attempt to address the issue of diversion of opium from licit cultivation only by shifting the method of cultivation from gum method to poppy straw will only lead to complicating the situation, especially, in the absence of addressing the issue of development reality and the powerlessness of the economically marginalized members in these States. It will lead to spread of illicit cultivation and strengthening the extent of processing of heroin that exists in the country.


NOTES


Molly Charles is an independent consultant and former deputy director of the National Addiction Research Centre (NARC) in Mumbai. She has worked on issues linked to both drug use and drug trade in India. She is the principal author of the book Drug Culture in India - A Street Ethnographic study of Heroin use in Mumbai published by NARC in 1999. She has also coauthored: “The Bombay Underworld: a Descriptive Account and Its Role in Drug Trade”, with K.S Nair, Gabriel Britto and A.A. Das, in Globalisation, Drugs and Criminalisation, Part 2: Drug Trafficking, Criminal Organisations and Money Laundering, Unesco: 2002. She has submitted her doctoral thesis in anthropology titled Cannabis and Culture: Impact of Drug Policy on Drug Use and Drug Trade.

[1] Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, is the legislation that has been enacted for controlling both drug use and trade and is applicable across the country.

[2] Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report 2001-2002, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi.

[3] The presence of Indian heroin has been indicated by most of the interviews with national law enforcement officials, international officials and other informants. The only dispute is on the extent of Indian heroin produced.

[4] Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report 2002-2003, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi

[5] This is indicated also through interviews with held with Indian officials, local informants and international liaison officers.

[6] The Hindu, 7th April 2002, Drugs on our doorstep, Pranab Dhal Samanta. Narcotics Control Bureau Reports, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2001.

[7] Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report 2002-2003, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi

[8] Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report 2002, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi; Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report, 1995, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi; Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report 1997, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi

[9] Along the border there are fields which are cultivated by the local people. There is an opening through the electrified fence for the people to go into the fields and the farm area is outside the electrified fence. At times drugs find its way across the border along with items taken for farming. This border separation is an imaginary division especially for the local people on both sides of the border for they have similar culture, language and are often related by blood or marriage. In addition to farming people also use this location to share family news and meet new entrants to the family through marriage or birth.

[10] Night patrol that is called all of a sudden

[11] Sikh movement in Punjab involved activities of different groups in Punjab for political autonomy and it led to the Central Government taking strong action and the movement was destroyed. This data were collected from the enforcement professionals.

[12] Interviews conducted with informants.

[13] It has been indicated by four international officials and national law enforcement officials and most of health professionals and researchers.

[14] Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report 2001, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi; Survey of Opium Cultivation in Lohit District, Arunchal Pradesh, UNDCP, 2000

[15] Spasmoproxyvon, propoxyphene are synthetic opiates.

[16] Drug Abuse Monitoring System, A Profile of Treatment Seekers, 2002, National Survey on Extent, Pattern and Trends of Drug Abuse in India, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for South Asia.

[17] 21st February 2001, Narcotics smuggling – India, Myanmar Warned, The Hindu, Chennai.

[18] National Survey on Extent, Pattern and Trends of Drug Abuse in India, 2002

[19] Bandh is the local term for total strike whereby transportation and shops are all closed. It is used by different groups to express their difference in opinion with the government.

[20] Data were based on interviews with drug users.

[21] 15th September 2002, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Eye in the sky helps war, Sudhi Ranajan Sen.

[22] Narcotics Control Bureau, Annual Report 2001-2002, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance Government of India, New Delhi.

[23] Bhattacharji, Romesh, The Narco-Politics of Afghanistan, Frontline, Volume 19-Issue19, September 14-27th 2002, The Hindu.

[24] 200 crores is equivalent to 40 million Euros.

[25] 10 million Rupees is equal to I crore.

[26] The Telegraph 24th February 1995, "US Company procures MP opium", and The Telegraph 25th February 1995, "MP Govt. raids tighten the noose on drug mafia".

[27] India Growing Producer of heroin, The Navhind Times, March 25, 2002.

[28] Degree consistency refers to the moisture content in the raw opium, higher the degree consistency lower the moisture content and this is important for processing alkaloids.

[29] S.K. Vardha, 1956, The manufacture and sale of opium and opium alkaloids at the Ghazipur Factory, ODC –Bulletin of Narcotics, Issue, 2-008 PG. 35-37.

[30] Forty ares is equivalent to 1 acre.

[31] The opium Alkaloid, ODC Bulletin on Narcotics, 1953) Issue 3-004, bulletin_1953-01-01_3_page005.html.

[32] Vardhan, K.S., The Manufacture and sale of Opium and Opium alkaloids at the Ghazipur Factory, CDC-Bulletin on Narcotics, 1956, Issue 2-008.

[33] The cultivation of Opium Poppy in India, S.N. Asthana, Bareilly, 2001.

[34] Kaicker, U.S., Saini, H.C., Singh. H.P, Choudhury, B, Environmental effects on morphine content in Opium Poppy, Papaver Somniferum L., United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Bulletin on Narcotics, 1978 Issue 3-009.

[35] Mary ,C., Accock Basil, 2003, Joint Indian/US Illicit Opium Poppy Survey (JLOPS) for 2003, Accock Info L.L.P, Six Mile, SC.

[36] Drugs on our doorstep, Pranab Dhal Samanta, The Hindu 7th April 2002.

[37] November 12th 2000 The Week States Scam Kartikaija Sharma.

[38] This may be probably linked to skewed manner in which land reforms have taken place across the country, other than in Kerala, Kashmir and to an extent West Bengal.

[39] Handbook of Agriculture, 2002, Indian Council of Agricultural Research , New Delhi.

[40] The Telegraph 25th Februaray 1995 MP government raids tighten the noose on drug mafia.

[41] Nilghai is a breed of cow. It is cited as the reason for destruction for variation in actually cultivated area and area licensed for cultivation. At the same time the opium produced in Uttar Pradesh as better morphine content and also there are claims for best processing unit.

[42] Disease Downy mildew sometimes causes serious damage to the crop at the time of capsule formation. It is controlled by the application of 0.2% Diathane 2.78. The crop attacked by leaf-miner is kept under control by spraying with 0.2% Metasystox or Roger.

[43] Based on interviews with informants.

[44] Deepak Tiwari, Opium Woman, Femida Berhamuddin controls her Uncle”s smuggling operations, The week, 17 Sept, 2000.

[45] Husain, Akhtar, Sharma, J.R., 1983, The Opium Poppy, Medicinal and Aromatic Plant, Series I, Lucknow, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants.

[46] Concessions to Opium Growers may spur contraband drug trade, Political Bureau, Business Standard, 27th November, 1996; Suchandana Gupta, 18th April, 2000, Govt and Bumper Harvest put Opium smugglers on a high.

[47] Sharma, ND, Opium Factor in Mandsaur, 9th September 1999, The Tribunal.

[48] (operations.htm) and (Survey of Opium Cultivation in Lohit District, Arunachal Pradesh, UNDCP, 2000).

[49] Shah Alam is common name in certain part of North India and these factories are private venture.

[50] Gulshan – garden

[51] Double dangerous is also one of the brand name of the stuff sold in the streets of Manipur.

[52] Interview with enforcement person involved in the seizure

[53] This is based on interview and news clippings.

[54] The Srilankan Tamils are Tamils that migrated from Tamil Nadu decades ago and they have continued to keep their links with Tamil Nadu. There is a strong support for Sri Lankan in Tamil Nadu, in other parts of India they were never discriminated against. This support continues till date, though there have been many instances of harassment of Sri Lankans by officials on suspicion of having a part to play in the Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India.

[55] Deepak Tiwari, Opium Woman, Femida Berhamuddin controls her Uncle”s smuggling operations, The week, 17 Sept, 2000.

[56] Sangamesaran, T.K, 2002, “No let-up in drug smuggling to Sri Lanks”, The Hindu, 24th August, 2002).

[57] Sangamesaran, T.K, 2002, “Drug smugglers take to Rameswaram escape route”, The Hindu, 6th November, 2002.

[58] Ratnayake.V. and Senanayake, B, 2000, Hand Book of Drug Abuse Information 1996-2000, National Dangerous Drugs Control Board, Research and Publication division.

[59] Statement of explanation for Indian Drug Certification, 1st March 2001, US department of State, International Information Programs.

[60] The Times of India, 29th May 1999 Chemicals Smuggled from India to Europe”s Drug Syndicate, Sanjay Ranade).

[61] In the report 2002 NCB mentions that on rare instances lancing in done in month of February.

[62] Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report 2001-2002, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi.

[63] Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report 2001-2002, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi.

[64] This was stated by lawyers dealing in NDPS Cases

[65] Thesis presented to the faculty of Vocational Courses: Punjab University Patiala, Degree of Philosophy in Forensic Science, Sukhminder Kaur, July 1996, Bureau of Police Research and Development, Ministry of Home Affaris.

[66] Punjab data were collected through interviews witb officials

[68] Panda, S, Saha, U, Pahari, S, Nathan, M, Poddar, S, Neogi. D. Sarkar, M, Pal, N.K and Mahalanabis, D, Drug use among urban poor in Kolkata:Behaviour and environment correlates of low HIV infection in The National Medicinal Journal of India, Vol: 15, No:3, 2002.

[69] Interview with officials and health professionals.

[70] Interview with officials

[71] Ray, et.al., 2001, Global Study on Illegal Drug Markets City Report, Delhi, India, De-Addiction Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

[72] This data is based on interviews of drug user and checking with informants on current street prices. The data for 1990 is also based on first hand information, as the researcher was involved in a study on street level heroin users during the same period.

[73] Data collected from Punjab indicate that cutting occurs in case of pharmaceutical products as wells, especially as out sourcing at different levels is practices for better profit margin.

[74]Narcotics Control Bureau Annual Report 2001-2002, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi.

[75] This section is based on an earlier study conducted as part of UNESCO MOST network group (2002) on underworld in Mumbai and based on data collected through interviews.

[76] Arun Kumar, 2000, Estimating the National Product from Illegal Activities : A case study of India, ( unpublished article, which the author gave me).

[77] Indian Express, Mumbai 12 Dec 2002, Band of Brothers: From a tiny room to lord of a Rs. 5000 crore empire.

[78] Times of India, 25th November 1999, Eight Drug traffickers get life term.

[79] Given the NCB figures for seizure undertaken by various agencies, the seizures by different State Agencies is around 96% of the total seizures made in the country. Since State agencies focus on local drug control this percentage is considered for calculation. Though when considering the quantity seized it is only 38%, given the corruption among the State level agencies the higher indications using number of seizure is taken for the purpose. Another reason for doing this is because it is alleged when State level police make seizures; the quantity of drug seized may often be under reported.

[80] Arun Kumar, 2000, Estimating the National Product from Illegal Activities : A case study of India, (unpublished article, which the author gave me).

[81] Data through interviews and secondary data indicate that heroin use is limited and restricted to select pockets in the country.

[82]D.N. Kohli, 1966, The story of narcotics control in Indian Opium, ODC in Bulletin of Narcotics, 1966 Issue 3-002, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 1-3pgs.

[83] Siddiqui H.Y, 2002, Drug Abuse Monitoring Systems (DAMS) A Profile of Treatment Seekers, Ministry of Social Justice and empowerment, Government of India and United Nations International Drug Control Programme, New Delhi.

[84] Masihi, E, J, & Desao, D,B, 1994. Culture and Drug Use in Saurashtra. Mumbai: NARC.

[85] Suresh, et al, Rapid Situation Assessment on Injecting Drug use in Chennai (Chennai), South India, UNESCO, DAPPA and Sharan India.

[86] Manorama Year Book 2002, Malayala Manorama, Kottayam.

[87] Interviews with international law enforcement officials, national law enforcement officials, experts and informants from the field

[88] Interviews with national law enforcement officials and other informants

[89] Interviews with informants

[90] NCB report 2002

[91] Opium Woman, The Week Sept 17th 2000 Deepak Tiwari.

[92] Times of India 7th Februaray 1996 Police will target small drug peddlers too

[93] Times of India 27th May 1997 Foreign Peddlers Worry NARC Cops, Aboozer kalimee.

[94] Times of India 11th June 2002, Love and Longing in Mumbai–An illicit drug Circuit, Police interrogation and loneliness–A Nigerian Youth Finds Himself Trapped.

[95] Times of India. 13th August 1999 Poverty Drives Africans to Drug Peddling.

[96] Indian Express 30th March 1996, 29 Pakistanis detained, ship seized.

[97] Times of India, 3rd June 2002, Expensive Cars used for bringing drugs into city Ranjit Khanna.

[98] Indian Express, 8th June 1999, Women Turn Drug Peddling into small scale industry, S. Hussain Zaidi.

[99] Charles,M, Nair, K,S, Britto, G, 1999. Drug Culture in India- A street ethnographic study of Heroin Addiction in Bombay. New Delhi: Rawat Publishers.

[100] Indian Express 28th May 1997 Heroin Haul has LTTE link, Hussain Zaidi.

[101] Section 50: It lays down the conditions under which search of persons shall be conducted (1) when any officer duly authorized under section 42, is about to search any person under the provisions of section 41,42 or 43, he shall, if such person so requires, take such persons without unnecessary delay to the nearest Gazetted officer of any of the departments mentioned in section 42 or to the nearest magistrate, (2) if such requisition is made, the officer may detain the person until he can bring the Gaxetted officer or the magistrate referred to in sub-section (1), (3) the Gazetted officer or the magistrate before whom any such persons is brought shall, if he sees no reasonable grounds for search, forthwith discharge the person but otherwise shall direct that the search be made, (4) no female shall be searched by anyone except a female.

[102] Section 42: Under this section provision is made for any officer above the rank of peon or constable of the departments mentioned from Central and State Government who are so empowered by order can from personal knowledge or information given by any person and taken down in writing in report of any offence committed under the Act between sunrise and sunset, enter and search any building, conveyance or place, seize any material, object or article which he believes could be furnished as evidence of offence, detain, search and arrest any person whom he has reason to believe has committed any offence. In case, such officer has reason to believe that a search warrant of authorization cannot be obtained without affording opportunity for the concealment of evidence or facility for the escape of an offender, he may enter and search at any time between sunset and sunrise after recording the grounds of his belief. And any information or record of grounds of belief taken down in writing should be sent forthwith to his immediate superior officer.

[103] Section 55: It empowers such officers ( investigating officers of certain departments with powers of an officer in charge of a police station) to keep in safe custody the articles seized. The articles should have the seal of the officer who accompanies them and the seal of the officer in charge of the police station.

[104] Charles, M, 2001, Drug trades in Himachal Pradesh, Role of Socio-economic Changes, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XXXVI, No; 26, June, 30th 2001.

[105] BSF role in drug racket, Unni, 17th July, 1995, The Pioneer India

[106] DCP who replaced drugs with Talc still missing, Cash Cop 2, 16th March, 2000, The Asian Age.

 

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