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The Next Drug War? Nepal Becoming a Haven For Drug Trafficking

This year, Nepal police arrested Thai national Suparerat Mcintosh on charge of carrying 1kg of cocaine worth U.S. $200,000. Police say it was the first ever seizure of a large amount of pure cocaine in Nepal. An investigation into the trade by Nepal authorities shows that cases of drug trafficking have swollen tremendously, making the country a haven for drug traffickers. 

Cocaine

If statistics provided by Narcotic Drugs Control Law Enforcement Unit (NDCLEU) are correct ,six foreigners and 47 Nepalese people were arrested in the first three months of 2012 with 1035.35 kilograms of hashish and 2,496 kilogram of heroin. The amount is significantly greater than one year ago, when only 1,929.8 kilograms of hashish and 6,151 kilograms of heroin were confiscated from both locals and foreigners over the course of the entire year.

SSP Nawa Raj Silwal, from the NDCLEU, said that Nepal has recently found more foreigners to be carrying drugs . These traffickers are using new ways of sending drugs and trying to make Nepal a transit point. People from Africa,Europe,India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have all been found to be carrying drugs. 

Rajneesh

Last week, six Nepali nationals were arrested on charge of drug smuggling. They weren’t arrested in Nepal, but rather in North Delhi with 35 kg of hashish. Nepal's open border with India is one of the reasons drug traffickers find it easy to travel from Nepal to India .

Police investigations also show that Nepal is emerging as a potential market and a transit point for traffickers to ship the drugs to international destinations like India, China, America, and other European countries.

Drug use is taking its toll on the people of Nepal  . Basanta Raj Kunwar, Executive Director of Narconon Nepal says, “Around 90 million rupees is spent for illegral drugs in Nepal. 80 percent of the crime is because of drugs and 99% of the domestic violence is caused because of drugs in Nepal.”

Youth

Kunwar says there are 124,000 drug users in Nepal, and 24,000 are girls. But it’s clear there are many more people involved in this market as well. 

The government of Nepal is not taking enough measures to combat this problem. 

“Government should make this in priority. There should be a seperate desk for looking after drugs under the prime minister’s office,” said Kunwar.

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