‘Social Media’ new tool for drug traffickers

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The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India has said that social media is becoming the new tool for traffickers to smuggle drugs and narcotics globally. “Illegal Internet pharmacy is very new emerging trend and it is very infinite,” OPS Malik, Director General of NCB, said in a statement.

He said the trend was noticed by the enforcement agency in past years and is currently in vogue as number of such ‘illegal internet pharmacies’ are being run by people.

“It is very difficult to catch people or consignment if they are sending through internet. We can only check with the information. We come to know about illegal internet pharmacy when we catch them (people involved in it),” Malik said while adding that such online sellers are using social media for exchange of information.

The NCB has made several arrests regarding the issue, all of whom are pharmacists and doctors. “We have caught 152 parcels in India. Globally, 29 parcels were traced to India,” Malik explained. He insisted that it was due to the consumption of drugs ‘which is going up in the country’.

However the NCB has refused to disclose the names of the social networking websites which were used by traffickers.

Arabian Gazette was able to speak to an under cover cop in Delhi regarding the issue. He told on condition of anonymity that the operation has had many names in order to avoid tipping off the traffickers. When inquired about the role of doctors in the issue, he disclosed:  “The doctors arrested were young doctors who are frequent visitors of these social networking sites. Apparently the traffickers have contacted them due to the fact that they handle all types of drugs,” the police source said. It also added that authorities also found out that couriers smuggled doctors’ prescriptions in connivance with pharmacists.

The source insisted that the breakthrough was made by a young computer geek who was contacted by the drug pedlars who took him as a genuine buyer and gave him the time and date of the delivery of the package. The young computer geek was employed by the National Police Service.

“Making such arrests public may slow down drug trafficking for a while but it will not eradicate the problem. The traffickers will find other means of being indiscreet on the web. These drug traffickers are very intelligent and many have degrees from reputable universities,” Vinod Anand, a teacher in Delhi told Arabian Gazette.

Drug trafficking is a multibillion dollar industry which has been around for centuries. There is evidence that suggests ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans not only grew drug plants but also exported it to different parts of the world. The trade has transformed in 21st century and is now conducted through the internet.

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