China emerging market for hashish from Nepal: Police

KATHMANDU, JUN 20 –  On Tuesday, a satellite police unit under the Narcotic Drugs Control Law Enforcement Unit (NDCLEU) confiscated 7 kg Nepal-made refined hashish, which was about to be parcelled to Beijing via Bangkok.
However, since it was an official from the Goshwara Hulak Karyalaya, Sundhara, to take the parcelled drug to Tribhuvan International Airport, the peddlers are still at large.
“But since we have the address of the person who was supposed to receive the parcel, we may be able to find some leads soon,” SSP Nawa Raj Silwal of the NDCLEU said. “We shortly took the official in custody. But nothing fishy was found about him. Investigations are under way.” Another parcel containing 9.9 kg hashish was also about to be sent to Amsterdam, Netherlands, by the same process.

According to NDCLEU chief DIG Yadav Adhikari, despite strict law enforcement in China, many youths there do drugs. “Therefore, we always had the suspicion that hashish is being supplied to China from Nepal,” he said.

SSP Silwal said there are already a few cases of police investing Nepal-China drug smuggling. “But since we lacked concrete proof, we were unable to intervene directly,” he said.

Pharmaceutical drugs racket busted

In three different operations carried out by the NDCLEU on Saturday, police netted seven members of a smuggling racket involved in the illegal trade of controlled pharmaceutical drugs.

One of the arrestees, Chadra Bahadur Pode, 48, of Bhaktapur was on the most wanted list of the police for several years.

During Saturday’s operation, police confiscated around 2,200 capsules each of controlled medical drugs buprenorphin and diazepam. Other arrestees are Suraj Singh, 19, of Sarlahi, Sabin Khadgi, 21, and Sachin Deula, 25, of Kathmandu, Anu Shrestha, 31, of Inaruwa, Sher Bahadur Shrestha, 38, of Sindhuli, and Rajan Deula, 39, of Bhaktapur. Pode, who was involved in criminal activities earlier too, served one year in prison from September 2009.

According to the police, Pode, who seems to have mastered the smuggling of pharmaceutical drugs, could also be the kingpin of the racket. “We have found that he uses female suppliers like Anu for the retailing of drugs peddled across the open Indo-Nepal border,” said Silwal. Pode’s friend, nicknamed Nagraj, who is also wanted by the police, is at large. “With Pode’s arrest, we are hopeful of tracking down Nagraj soon.”

Meanwhile, DIG Adhikari said buprenorphin and diazepam are popular among city youths in Nepal. “Since many cannot afford heroin and refined hashish, they turn to controlled pharmaceutical drugs,” he said.by ANKIT ADHIKARI ekantipur

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