Nepal | March 26, 2019

Rise in drug smuggling and abuse has police worried

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, September 9

Police arrested two persons with a huge amount of prescription drugs from separate places of Kathmandu today.

Subash Yadav, 19, of Parsa was arrested for possessing 900 ampoules of injectable drugs — diazepam, norphine and phenergan — from Balkhu. Similarly, police held Nima Sherpa, 36, of Sindhupalchowk with 324 ampoules of injectable drugs from Gongabu.

Officials said they had stepped up surveillance of suspects smuggling prescription drugs into Kathmandu via Nepal-India border. Organised trade of such drugs, which can only be sold against a doctor’s prescription, is on the rise despite police crackdown.

According to police, teenagers account for the largest section of end users of pharmaceutical drugs. Injectable drugs are in high demand as they are easily available.

An ampoule or tablet of the prescription drug is sold at around Rs 500 against Rs 1,000 for one gram of heroin the illegal market. The number of drug related offences is higher than any other heinous crime in Nepal.

Diazepam, norphine and nitravet are the most-consumed banned drugs and their demand is higher in the capital because they cost far less than hashish and heroin and are easily available. 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.

Statistics released by the security agency shows that as many as 4,754 persons were held with drugs throughout the country in the fiscal 2017-18. Of them, 4,41 are males while 189 other are females and 149 foreigners.

Police seized 4,208 kg marijuana, 1,359 kg hashish, one kg brown sugar, 39 kg opium, four kg cocaine, 194,642 tablets of psychotropic drugs, 197,026 ampoules of injectable drugs, 4,230 bottles of corex, 112 syringes and 40 grams yaba, among others.

A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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