Drug peddlers using postal route to send contraband

Mumbai: With the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) cracking down on courier companies delivering parcels without checking, drug peddlers and dealers have begun to turn to the postal service to send the contraband.

"Of late, a trend has emerged that the peddlers and dealers send their contraband through post offices. To evade the law enforcement agencies dealers bring huge quantity of contraband to Mumbai and send them to other places through EMS speed post," a senior NCB official said, requesting anonymity.

The NCB has already apprised the Department of Post about the abuse of its service by drug pushers urging its top officials to evolve some foolproof mechanism to detect and track those abusing the service, the official told PTI. The official said the main reason in shift of modus operandi is that unlike private couriers the postal service does not follow strict Know Your Customer (KYC) norms.

"Also these private companies follow strict frisking policy", the official said. He said the EMS (Emergency Mail Service) sends its delivery to 88 countries directly and for many other destinations they use the "world-wide network". "There have also been cases that the contraband has been detected after the parcel is shifted from the EMS to the world-wide network," the NCB official said.

There are many reasons why the EMS is preferred by the drug pushers over private couriers since it requires less documentation, no verification, comparatively cheaper and easy to go. Seeking to curb the drug peddlers using the postal services, the NCB has apprised the department of the matter and already had a few meetings with them.

"We believe that postal department is working on it. We have imparted training to courier companies and other government agencies in dealing with contraband and expect postal department will follow suit. Several awareness programmes in this connection are also being undertaken," he added.

In 2014, NCB arrested 10 Indians and 7 foreign nationals and recovered around 129.3 kg of contraband and in 2015 (till May), the agency has apprehended 14 Indians and 1 foreign national and seized around 40 kg of contraband. "However unclaimed seizure has nearly doubled. In 2014 the agency seized 9.9 kg of contraband while in 2015 (till May) the seizure has already been doubled," he added.

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