Meth smuggling through porous Myanmar borders on the rise


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AIZAWL, Dec 23
Smuggling of meth-amphetamine, an addictive stimulant, has been increa-sing rapidly in the north- eastern region of India. Drug traffickers are now using the northeast corridor to smuggle methamphetamine from Myanmar to other parts of India.
The drug traffickers mostly use Mizoram and Manipur to smuggle methamphetamine from Myan- mar to India via the porous border areas. While Mizo-ram shares a 510-Kms-long border with Myanmar, Manipur shares a 398-kilometre-long border with the Southeast Asian country. These addictive tablets then make their way to other parts of the country through Meghalaya and Assam by road, train, and even air. The law enforcement agencies have arrested several drug traffickers and seized methamphetamine worth several hundred crores of rupees over the past few years.
Mizoram Director General of Police (DGP) Anil Shukla told ABP Live, “Smuggling of methamphetamine has increased in Mizoram in the last few months. In the last couple of months, we have seized consignments of the narcotic drug worth over Rs 100 crore. We have also awarded an airline staffer for helping us arrest two individuals and seize a large quantity of methamphetamine from their possession at the Lengpui airport.”
The Mizoram police on October 3 this year seized methamphetamine tablets estimated to be over Rs 25.49 crore in the international market from two passengers hailing from Myanmar at the Lengpui airport near the State capital, Aizawl. The passengers were travelling to New Delhi.
In Assam too, the law enforcement agencies have arrested many drug traffickers and seized methamphetamine worth hundreds of crores of rupees from different parts of the State.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Crime Investigation Department (CID), Assam, Munna Prasad Gupta, told ABP Live that seizure of methamphetamine in Assam has increased in the recent past and is more frequently seized now as compared to the previous years. The top police official said that methamphetamine, including tablets and capsules, with a market value of Rs 181.86 crore, have been seized between January 1, 2023 and December 19, 2023, from across the State.  
Security forces on October 19, 2023, arrested two persons and seized methamphetamine tablets valued at Rs 20 crore in the grey market at Silchar’s Kumbhirgram airport in Assam’s Cachar district. Both the accused were residents of Mizoram.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Guwahati Zone, busted an inter-State network, involved in supplying methamphetamine in Assam’s State capital Guwahati on November 28 this year.
The sleuths of NCB apprehended two alleged drug smugglers at the Guwahati railway station while they were on their way from Manipur’s Moreh to West Bengal’s Cooch Behar in a train. The NCB team seized a total of 9.669 kilograms of methamphetamine tablets, estimated to be nearly Rs 50 crore in the grey market, from their possession.
Drug de-addiction activists have expressed grave concern over the growing popularity and use of methamphetamine by the people in India, especially the youth of the country. According to activists working in the field of drug de-addiction, methamphetamine is slowly taking the place of heroin. The drug is the new choice of addicts, said experts, as it is comparatively cheaper than heroin but gives a similar "hit".  
Experts ABP Live spoke to said that methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant that is mostly consumed by the youths in Asian countries. The narcotic substance is mostly consumed at raves and techno parties. Methamphetamine, shortly known as meth, is either snorted or injected by the drug addicts by crushing the tablets into powder. Methamphetamine is made by mixing the prescription drug, amphetamine, with highly toxic substances including battery acid, paint thinner, drain cleaners, and lighter fluid in certain amounts.
Substance Use Disorder (SUD) professional, Ratul Dey, told ABP Live, “Amphetamine is used as a recreational drug. People consume it to boost libido, increase wakefulness, improve cognitive control, enhance sociability and induce euphoria. It can also speed up reaction times, increase muscle strength and reduce fatigue. When amphetamines are used at higher doses and through routes that are not prescribed by a doctor, they can have crippling effects on the human body.”
“Dopamine levels in the brain can rise quickly and to a great extent. Overuse and repeated abuse can lead to psychosis and delusions, feelings of paranoia and hostility, cardiovascular problems including stroke, reduction in cognitive ability, breakdown of muscles, and malnutrition. Withdrawal symptoms include depression and sleep disturbances. People who crush and inject a tablet may have blockages in their small blood vessels, as some of the components do not break down,” Dey added.
Experts say that meth is much more dangerous in nature than heroin and has severe adverse effects to the human body.