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Turmoil in the neighbourhood, drug traffickers turn to Mizoram

Aizawl: Law enforcement agencies in the state have been left reeling as the seizure of narcotics in Mizoram has already exceeded last year’s figures, with a staggering 110 kilograms and 876 grams of heroin confiscated from January to August this year.

Peter Zohmingthanga, the spokesperson for the State Excise and Narcotics Department, disclosed that the department has seized 67 kilograms and 10 grams of heroin during the aforementioned period, while Lalbiakthanga Khiangte, IGP (Headquarters) and Chief Public Relations Officer of the State Police, added that the Police department has confiscated 43 kilograms and 866 grams of heroin over the past eight months.

Officials from the Excise and Narcotics Department have seized 42 kilograms and 715 grams of Methamphetamine during the same timeframe, along with 301 grams of opium and 110 kilograms and 375 grams of ganja (cannabis). Concurrently, the State Police have intercepted 50 kilograms and 21 grams of Methamphetamine, 4 kilograms and 918 grams of opium, and 107 kilograms and 732 grams of ganja during this period.

These disconcerting statistics come alongside the revelation that the State Police have registered 139 drug-related cases and apprehended 216 individuals connected to drug possession and trafficking.

Adding to the urgency of the situation, a recent development saw a team of police officers stationed at Ngopa Police Station in Saitual District discover 1 kilogram and 455 grams of heroin while conducting random vehicle inspections at the Ngopa Police Check gate. The illicit substance was being transported from the Myanmar border district of Champhai via Ngopa road in an Alto K-10 car with Mizoram registration. Two individuals, Kapthawlthanga (18) and Thangchinkhupa (28), both residents of New Champhai in Champhai district, were detained. A case under the 21(c)/25/29 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 has been registered at Ngopa Police Station for further investigation.

In yet another incident, officials from the State Excise and Narcotics Department seized over 918 grams of heroin in Mizoram’s central Serchhip town on Tuesday. Four individuals – Md. Muslek Uddin (23) from Brahmansasan, Karimganj, Assam; Abul Khayer Mohammed (37) from Nalua Rani Gram, P/S Nilam Bazar, Karimganj, Assam; Abdul Karim (35) from Sagaibari, P/S Dharmanagar, Tripura; Sahin Ahmed (27) from Nilambazar, Karimganj, Assam; and Sirajul Hoque (25) from Bakir Chal, Karimganj, Assam – were apprehended in connection with this incident. Two cars bearing Assam registration numbers were also detained, and the four accused were booked under the relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

The sudden surge in drug trafficking from Myanmar has been described by enforcement agencies as deeply troubling and a matter of grave concern. This upswing in the trafficking of heroin and Methamphetamine has been witnessed since the military coup d’état in Myanmar in February 2021. Mizoram shares a 404-kilometer-long porous international border with Myanmar, which has been adversely affected by civil unrest. Additionally, the sealing of the Manipur-Myanmar border due to ongoing violence in Manipur, a key conduit for drug smuggling, has further exacerbated the problem.

The battle against the scourge of drug trafficking in Mizoram is now more urgent than ever, as law enforcement agencies grapple with the mounting challenges posed by these alarming developments.

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Zoram Chronicle