Kathmandu, June 5 The use of postal services or couriers has emerged as a new modus operandi employed by drug smugglers, especially foreigners, to avoid being arrested at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Sending consignment of drugs through parcel is relatively easier as the packages are not thoroughly monitored, thanks to lack of scanners and sole dependence on random checking. Nepal was always been an attractive transit point for international drug traffickers and they now seen to be taking advantage of the ill-equipped postal office to smuggle drugs. The Narcotics Control Bureau arrested an Israeli national while attempting to smuggle 7 kg of hemp seed and five litres of hemp oil to his country as parcels through the General Post Office, Sundhara yesterday. Police have stepped up vigil at the TIA, post offices, and private couriers after the law enforcement agency found drug racketeers switching to air parcel and courier services to smuggle the contraband abroad. Officials said drug traffickers were smuggling contraband under the cloak of postal parcels after police continued to intercept drug carriers at the TIA. In July 2015, the NCB caught two Chinese nationals while they were trying to register three sealed cartons containing 980 grams hashish at the GPO to dispatch it to their country. The drug was concealed in a consignment of henna. Earlier on June 19, NCB seized two parcels registered with GPO containing 8.4 kg hashish at the TIA. The parcels were being delivered to Beijing. In July 2015, police arrested two persons for trying to smuggle 9.3 kg hashish to Canada via a courier service by concealing it inside ornamental items. In December 2014, police arrested Manoj Karki, 32, of Bhaktapur for trying to smuggle 4.48 kg hashish to Greece on a Jet Airways flight via a courier service by concealing it in a handicraft item. Earlier, three persons were held for trying to smuggle 8.3 kg hashish to Hong Kong through cargo at the TIA. The drug was concealed in the false-bottoms of plastic cans filled with honey. Drug racketeers have switched to postal or courier services to smuggle contraband in small consignments following several arrests of drug carriers at the airport of late, said DIGP Jaya Bahadur Chand, NCB in-charge. NCB has recorded more than 16 drug smuggling bids through air parcel and courier service in the past three years.
Traffickers turn to postal services to smuggle drugs
The Himalayan Times
Published: 05:06 am Jun 06, 2016