The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has notified Mumbai to be the top-most consumer of cocaine in India. According to a report by Hindustan Times, as much as 2,499 kilograms of cocaine seized in the past two years in Sri Lanka, Port Elizabeth and Panana had India as its destination.
As one of the biggest manufacturers of potassium permangnate, a precursor chemical, there is a growing suspicion that the processing of cocaine may be shifted by drug cartel from South America to India.
NCB officials told HT that backtrack drug investigations have now confirmed that no less than 300kg of cocaine (worth Rs 1,500 crore in the international market) landed in Mumbai in December 2018 through a syndicate with links in India, Australia and Canada.
Earlier this week, Indian security officials told CNN-News18 that the interception of a Sri Lankan boat carrying 300 kilograms of heroin, five AK-47 guns and ammunition off the coast of Vizhinjam in Kerala points to ISI-sponsored narco-terrorism flourishing in Lanka.
The Indian Coast Guard and the Narcotics Control Bureau had seized the boat carrying the drugs and arms consignment on March 25, the second such major seizure in March.
Officials, on the condition of anonymity, said Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI has created sleeper cells in Sri Lanka and other neighbouring countries, and exports drugs to foment trouble. The drug income is then used to fund illegal activities, including extremist activities, they said.
In the March 25 seizure, Coast Guard and the NCB had found heroin worth Rs 3,000 crore stashed in the boat along with AK-47 rifles and 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition. “A number of incriminating documents were also seized from the occupants of the vessel,” said the NCB, adding that six Sri Lankan nationals were arrested.