Over 100 kg of narcotic substances like cocaine, heroin, rock cocaine, marijuana and hashish and a large quantity of LSD have been stolen from different Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) storage facilities spread across five cities in the last two years. The stolen drugs were part of the stock that the NCB had seized from different sources and had kept for sending to rehabilitation centres and some for use as evidence. These rehabilitation centres use them in moderation to wean away patients from their addiction. “Over 100 kg of drugs have been stolen from the NCB in the last two years, including cocaine, heroin, LSD and some similar other drugs. At least 25 kg of cocaine, 38 kg heroin, 5 kg of rock cocaine and 50 kg of hashish and marijuana were stolen in two years from the seized stock. A large stash has gone missing,” a top source in the NCB told The Sunday Guardian. This information is part of the official records which the NCB maintains. This newspaper is in possession of these records. The cities are Delhi, Amritsar, Goa, Patna and Kolkata. The NCB has been discovering these thefts since the beginning of 2014 and these records are updated every month. However, the NCB is yet to lodge an FIR in the case. Sources say that the NCB has also done nothing to improve surveillance in its offices from where these drugs have been stolen.
Sources also allege that it is insiders who are stealing the drugs, as they have easy access to the storage facilities and evidence rooms where these drugs are stashed.
“You cannot be allowed go into the stores every now and then to measure or weigh the contents of the seized stash. Considering we are responsible for stopping drug trafficking, it is our responsibility to curb such activities in our own bureau. But not all the centres have the surveillance equipment to monitor the storage areas. This is a serious matter. Such things have happened in the past and will keep happening if the issue is not addressed immediately,” the source said.
“We have initiated several investigations into the matter, but it’s very hard to find out who actually is behind this. When you have to point a finger at your own fraternity, it gets very difficult,” he said.
“The law is very stringent when it comes to cases related to narcotics. You don’t want to go by guesswork. There are so many ways that this could have been established. The only reference point are the NCB records,” the source said.
“Generally we destroy all the seized narcotic substances, but at times we keep some quantity as evidence and also for allocation to drug rehabilitation centres,” the source said.
These drugs would be worth hundreds of crores as per a conservative estimate based on market prices. “It is unfortunate that such a huge stash was stolen right from under our nose,” the source added.
When questioned, a drug peddler in Delhi’s Connaught Place area revealed that they get their supply from multiple places and sometimes the seized drugs find their way back into their hands, although from lone sellers who generally sell these drugs in small; quantities and for a rate cheaper than the “market rate”.
In Delhi, cocaine sells anywhere between Rs 8,000 and Rs 50,000 per gram, depending upon the place of origin and various other factors. “However, these sellers are willing to sell you cocaine for only Rs 2,000 per gram. I am wary of such sellers because they are not regular dealers, who generally sell you drugs in bulk,” said Shakti, the name he uses with his customers.
According to Shakti, these are generally stolen drugs: “If I am being offered other hard drugs like heroin, LSD, liquid ecstasy at a cheap price, it means that the sellers are not into the business and may have got their hands on it from somewhere. Sometimes such people are also undercover policemen trying to catch you,” said Shakti.
The going rate of heroine is between Rs 700 and Rs 2,000 per gram. Ecstasy, which is a combination of drugs, sells for around Rs 1,500 per pill. Rates of the drugs vary with different drug dealers.
The NCB refused to talk to this newspaper on this matter officially.