Increase in smuggling activities in Mizoram due to Myanmar crisis: Officials | Popgen Tech
Photos are used for representational purposes only. According to State government data, the volume of heroin seized by the Excise Department and the State police increased from 20.36 kg in 2020 to 34.52 kg last year. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangements
Myanmar’s political crisis has led to “an increase in smuggling activities” in Mizoram and an increase in seizures of contraband and exotic animal species in the state’s northeast, officials said on Sunday.
According to the State government data accessed by PTIThe volume of heroin recovered by the Excise Department and the State Police increased from 20.36 kilograms in 2020 to 34.52 kg last year.
During the January-May period of the current year, 19.81 kg of heroin were seized and 374 people were arrested for allegedly possessing the contraband.
The volume of drugs and other contraband goods, such as exotic wildlife, dried areca nuts and Burmese cigarettes, recovered by law enforcement agencies has “increased significantly since the military took power in the neighboring country in February last year,” Excise and Narcotics. The department official said on condition of anonymity.
“There is no doubt that Myanmar’s political crisis has led to a significant increase in drug trafficking, especially heroin, from Myanmar to India via Mizoram,” he said.
Recently, the official said that some of the arrested Myanmar nationals were involved in smuggling activities, adding that various State agencies are continuing to arrest the leaders of the smuggling racket.
“Many Myanmar people are unemployed and have no stable source of income due to the current political crisis there. Many of them have been lured into smuggling activities,” the official said.
With the increase in heroin supply, the price of the drug has come down as “a ‘hawng’ of narcotic substance (a hawng is a local measure equal to about 13-14 grams) is now available at ₹ 15,000-18,000, while it was. more earlier sold at ₹ 35,000 in the local market”, he said.
Mizoram Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) John Neihlaia also said the increase in the number of seizures and the dip in the price of heroin are linked to the Myanmar crisis.
The number of Myanmar nationals caught with drugs by the State Police has increased from 12 in 2021 to 35 in 2022 (as of August), he said.
“Among the 35 people arrested this year, three were refugees, who stayed in relief camps in the state,” Mr. Neihlaia said.
A total of 30,401 people from Myanmar crossed the international border and took refuge in the northeastern state after the neighboring country’s military ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February last year, the state’s Interior Minister, Lalchamliana, informed the assembly at the beginning this month.
According to Mr. Neihlaia, the State police alone seized a lot of contraband in 2021, including 15.79 kg of heroin and 153.77 kg of methamphetamine tablets, with a total value of ₹ 51.83 crore.
Till September 16 this year, the state police had recovered various drugs, including 22.93 kg of heroin and 101.26 kg of methamphetamine tablets, with a total value of ₹ 39 crore, according to the data accessed. PTI.
“Some drug rackets are operating from outside the state and have lured many Mizos into smuggling groups. Many of the locals, who earlier wanted to give up these illegal activities, have been lured,” he said.
Another official, who chose to remain anonymous, said Champhai district in eastern Mizoram, which shares a border with Myanmar, has replaced Manipur’s Moreh as the main transport route for smuggled goods, including wildlife.
Mizoram shares a 510 km long border with the neighboring country.
Despite massive efforts by law enforcement agencies, including the Assam Rifles, the smugglers managed to enter Mizoram, he added.
The significant increase in smuggling activities in the State also prompted the central committee of the Mizo Youth Association to form an anti-drug squad on September 9.