Mangaluru, Feb 29 2020 DHNS: Mangalore International Airport (MIA) became the first airport in the country to facilitate an interaction with various stakeholders to prevent smuggling of narcotics through the airport.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Airport Security Group (ASG), in association with Centre for Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (CNPS) Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) sensitised officials from the CISF, Customs and the Coast Guard on the need to step up vigilance against intensified drug trafficking.
The post lunch discussions, held in the airport recently, focused on joint training, sharing of information, co-ordination, understanding the limitations and strengths of other departments.
IA Director V V Rao said his previous posting at Amritsar airport had prompted him to facilitate the discussions to prevent drug trafficking.
Chief Airport Security Officer (CASO) and CISF unit Deputy Commandant Amit Kumar said over 96 cases against drug traffickers were registered across airports
between January and July, 2019.
The increase in the drug
trafficking cases by 30% has made us realise the need to work in close co-ordination, he added.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) S B Venkatesh serving as Commander of Coast Guard Headquarters (Karnataka) said India had been a transient point in ‘Golden Crescent’ (comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan) and ‘Golden Triangle’ –both known as high intensity drug trafficking areas.
Thus due to easy access, 2.8% of Indians are known to consume drugs, including stimulants, daily, he said.
CNPS Head G Shreekumar Menon said that a few individuals were into drug trafficking.
“It is usually corporate-style drug trafficking,’’ said Menon, who had served as former director general of National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics.
Menon said that drug trafficking also fuels drug violence, turf war (fight for control of territories), use of illegal fire arms, problematic crimes ,among others.
One step ahead
MAHE Chancellor Prof H S Ballal emphasised the need for such discussions between departments as drug traffickers were always one step ahead of the investigating agencies.
Dr Ballal said, ‘’By minimising drug trafficking to possible level, MIA should set an example to others.’’
Dr Nirmal Krishnan, assistant professor in Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, KMC-Manipal, said smugglers were trained to hide drugs in body cavities.
‘Drug Mules’ can pack inside their body 50 to 100 bags up to a maximum weight of 50 gms.
The capacity of rectum is to hold 100 ml. But after practice, smugglers increase the capacity of rectum to hold anywhere between 300 to 500 ml. There are ‘Mega Rectums’ that can hold up to 1000 ml (about one KG), Krishnan added.
‘’Their peculiar gait will give them away,’’ Dr Nirmal Krishnan added.