Kathmandu, May 22
The Narcotics Control Bureau today raided a house in New Bus Park, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, and arrested a woman for allegedly running a drug-peddling racket.
Senior Superintendent of Police Basanta Kumar Lama, NCB deputy in-charge, said 1,791 ampules of injectable drugs, including diazepam, buprenorphine and phenergan, and Rs 141,000 in cash that she had collected from the sale of psychoactive substance were also confiscated from Sabitri Shrestha, 50.
According to the narco-police, she was long involved in smuggling prescription drugs to Kathmandu from the Nepal-India border through racketeers and selling them to drug addicts, mainly teenagers and youths, from her own house. She used to mobilise her two sons, aged between 25 to 29, to search for drug users.
NCB officials said the duo also used drugs and had track marks on their body parts.
Shrestha’s house compound had been kept under CCTV surveillance to ensure that persons other than drug users didn’t enter. NCB said further investigation into her association with other drug racketeers were under way.
Organised trade of such drugs, which can only be sold against a doctor’s prescription, is on the rise despite police crackdown. According to NCB, teenagers account for the largest section of end users of pharmaceutical drugs, which are in high demand due to their availability and affordability in the illegal market. The controlled drugs costing around Rs 23 per ‘dose’ across the Indian border is sold for up to Rs 1,500 when brought into Kathmandu, said police investigators.
As per a survey report ‘Current Hard Drug Users in Nepal, 2013’ published by the Ministry of Home Affairs, most drug abusers were young men and women, and many died of overdose and excessive abuse.
While there were altogether 46,309 drug abusers in 2007, the number nearly doubled to 91,534 in 2013, marking a roughly 98 per cent increase in six years.
A version of this article appears in print on May 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.