India : Hub of illicit drug trade

The latest report released by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has referred to India as a Key Hub for Illicit Drug Trade.
Findings of the UNODC Report
  • India is one of the major hubs of illicit drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.
  • The global trend of purchasing drugs over the internet, particularly on darknet trading platforms using cryptocurrencies has spread across South Asia and it is particularly rampant in India.
  • The study has found more than 1,000 drug listings from India published across 50 online crypto-market platforms.
  • The report also states that in 2017 Indian authorities have dismantled two illicit Internet pharmacies, seizing close to 130,000 tablets containing psychotropic substances.
  • India has also become a transit country for illicitly produced opiates, in particular, heroin. The route being used by traffickers to smuggle opiates through South Asia is an alternative part of the southern route, which runs through Pakistan or the Islamic Republic of Iran, via the Gulf countries, continues to East Africa and on to destination countries.
  • India, Australia, France and Turkey together accounted for 83 per cent of global production of morphine-rich opiate raw materials in 2017.