Four drug smugglers arrested in five days

Kathmandu, August 2

Metropolitan Police Range, Lalitpur, has arrested four persons on the charge of smuggling prescription drugs into Kathmandu over a period of five days.

The suspects held by police from different places of Lalitpur are Binod Manandhar of Kirtipur; Bijay Lama of Lalitpur; and Dananjay Pun Magar and Satrughan Paswan of Parsa.

According to police, they first arrested Manandhar with a few ampoules of injectable drugs leading to disclosure of the involvement of others in drug smuggling and peddling.

Police have confiscated 2,334 ampoules of buprenorphine and diazepam.

The prescription drugs were smuggled into valley from Birgunj by concealing them in jerry cans. Organised trade of controlled pharmaceutical drugs, which can only be sold and bought against a doctor’s prescription, continues unabated despite police crackdown on dealers and users.

Police warned that prescription drug abuse was rife in valley. They said teenagers and youths account for the largest section of end users of prescription drugs. An ampoule or tablet of the prescription drugs is sold at around Rs 500 against Rs 1,000 for one gram of heroin in the illegal market. They are accessible and more affordable for users.

Alarmed by the smuggling and consumption of illicit drugs and alcohol, the Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier said that it was preparing to launch a nationwide campaign against drug abuse across the country.

According to the 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. The annual growth rate of drug users is 11.36 per cent. The number of drug related offences is higher than any other heinous crime in Nepal, a report recently published by the Narcotics Control Bureau states.