dri: Mail, postal freight Preferred drug trafficking modes: DRI

NEW DELHI: Mail and postal freight have become the preferred modes of transport for traffickers due to the anonymity associated with their use, according to a government report.
The country’s large coastline with many major and minor ports is also susceptible to drug trafficking by sea, said the 2020-21 Smuggling in India, released by the Tax Intelligence Directorate. The report states that the seizure of narcotics such as heroin smuggled onto boats, ships from the Gulf region and Iran in the recent past, coupled with some Covid-19 restrictions on the roads air and land, suggested that the sea route would be exploited by drug traffickers in the future as well.
“Therefore, extra vigilance is needed to monitor territorial waters and import shipments arriving by sea route,” the report said. Citing a few examples, the report says that on August 10 last year, DRI agents seized 191 kg of heroin at the JNCH port.
The heroin was concealed under goods declared as “mulethi – a medicinal herb.”
“The concealment of narcotics in courier or postal packages and containerized cargo is a formidable challenge for Customs and DRI.
The volume of exchanges makes it impossible to verify all shipments, ”the report said, adding that it is therefore imperative for the DRI to use data analysis to track these shipments.


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