From Thai Jungles To Delhi, Golden Triangle’s Drug Lords Ensnare India
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – In a daring journey that began in early December, a covert mission traced the perilous route of “organic ganja (cannabis)” from the lush landscapes of Thailand to the heart of Delhi.
Starting its journey in Phuket, this contraband skillfully navigates the hidden pathways of Southeast Asia, evading authorities and making its way towards India.
Once it reaches the Golden Triangle on India’s northeast border that shares boundaries with Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand; it begins its journey into the country through Manipur and Dimapur in Nagaland.
It travels from the lush northeastern landscapes to the bustling cities of the country, particularly Delhi by train, bus, private vehicles and private delivery apps and services.
It also exploits social media that has been transformed into a rendezvous point for traffickers and clients, further entrenching the virtual roots of this clandestine network.
DLF Capital Greens in Moti Nagar emerged as the epicenter for this clandestine operation, seamlessly blending connections from the northeast with the national Capital’s urban landscape.
An official said that drugs being smuggled from the Golden Triangle are coming to Delhi in huge quantities and several people have been caught for their involvement in supplying the contraband from Northeastern states in the city.
Delhi Police’s data for the first quarter of the year exposes a chilling reality with over 20 kg of heroin and 800 kg of ganja seized during that period which was worth several crores in the illegal drug market.
Since January, the police seized around 20 kg of heroin/smack, 15 kg of cocaine, 800 kg of ganja, and 125 kg of opium in various operations across Delhi.
NCB’s alarming report: Sea routes fuel 70 percent of illegal drug influx
The annual report by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in 2022 revealed that about 70 percent of the total illegal drugs smuggled into India come through the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, posing a significant challenge for law enforcement agencies.
Golden Triangle’s Grip
The Golden Triangle on India’s northeast border, shares boundaries with Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, proving to be a hotbed for drug trafficking. Myanmar, the world’s second-largest illicit supplier of morphine and heroin, contributes to 80 percent of the global heroin supply, smuggled into the US, UK, China, and India via sea routes and other covert paths.
“Guwahati and Dimapur have become hotspots for significant heroin seizures, originating from the Golden Triangle. Myanmar’s heroin and meth infiltrate India at two key entry points: Moreh in Manipur and Champhai in Mizoram,” a senior police officer said.
Dark web’s influence: A modern twist to an age-old trade
In a fascinating turn, precursor chemicals like ephedrine, acetic anhydride, and pseudoephedrine are sourced from South India, transported to Kolkata and Guwahati via Delhi, and then smuggled across the border to Myanmar, exploiting domestic security gaps.
Indian authorities have ramped up efforts to curb drug trafficking in the region, with a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the governments of India and Myanmar in 2020.
The NCB’s 2022 report identifies heroin as the most trafficked drug through the sea route, with ATS, marijuana, cocaine, and others also falling into the net of law enforcement authorities.
Syndicates have adapted, using couriers, parcels, and postal services to smuggle and deliver drugs, directly linked to the surge in dark web activity in India. The quantity of drugs in parcels is limited to a few grams to avoid suspicion and interception by law enforcement agencies.