Truck driver arrested with 213 kg hashish, 2.250 kg opium

Kathmandu, June 24

The Narcotics Control Bureau has arrested an Indian truck driver with 213 kg hashish and 2.250 kg opium from Kalanki.

Acting on a tip-off, NCB intercepted the Indian truck (WB23B5885) driven by Meraz Alam, 25, of Bihar yesterday. Alam was the only person in the truck allegedly used for long to smuggle drugs to India. The truck, which entered Nepal from India yesterday offloaded a consignment of maize in Hetauda of Makwanpur and headed to Dhading to load the hashish and opium provided by  local racketeers.

DIG Thule Rai, NCB in-charge, said the narco police had launched an investigation to ascertain the racketeer who supplied the hard drugs to Indian smugglers. “We were after the truck for months based on information that it was being used to smuggle drugs to India. Primary investigation shows that the destination of the hashish and opium was Delhi,” DIG Rai informed.

The drugs were concealed in two false compartment made in cargo space of the truck. Alam told NCB officials that he was preparing to ferry the drugs to Delhi via Sunauli border point of Nepal and Gorakhpur of India. He has conceded to using the truck to smuggle hashish and opium to India for several times, according to NCB.

Investigators said demand for Nepali hashish is high in foreign countries due to its ‘quality’.

Hashish, which is made from cannabis, fetches over $20,000 in Europe and Southeast Asian countries compared to around Rs 20,000 per kg in Nepal’s illegal drug market.

Similarly, opium is the dried latex obtained from opium poppy which contains morphine, an alkaloid, which is also used to produce heroin. Opium sells at more than Rs 50,000 per kg in the illegal market of Nepal, but the price depends on buyers and sellers, NCB officials said.

A a report published by NCB says that many farmers, especially in Makawanpur, Udayapur, Baglung, Salyan, Rukum and Dhading districts have been cultivating opium in large swathes of land with technical assistance from experts.

Narco cops have taken initiatives to destroy opium poppy before its harvest. Geographical remoteness and economic backwardness of the rural people are major factors in illicit cultivation of opium and marijuana, it warned.