The city’s drugs seizures have come down by almost 98% in the last three months.

 

Mumbai: The lockdown has made Mumbai’s drug market and its supply chain inactive. As per Mumbai police’s latest figures, the city’s drugs seizures have come down by almost 98% in the last three months.

Latest statistics reveal that this year from April to June, the city police seized narcotic substances worth just over Rs 12 lakh. In June, drugs worth Rs 8 lakh were seized, while in May, the seizure was just almost Rs 28,000, in April drugs worth Rs 3,77,000 were seized from the city.

This year, the figures present a complete opposite picture to last year’s figures. Last year, Rs 5.43 crore worth of contraband substances were seized during April to June. In June, drugs worth Rs 73.29 lakh were seized, in May, it was Rs 3,83,73,297 and in April Rs 86,88,070 worth of drugs were seized from the city by Mumbai police.

The financial capital of the country is always a major drug hub, thanks to its night life and party culture. Cocaine and MDMA also known as party drug and comes from European countries through passenger movements and through couriers; however, their supply to the city have stopped after foreign passengers’ movement and courier services were prohibited during the lockdown. Charas comes from Jammu and Kashmir and from Himachal Pradesh, while Chintamani forest in Karnataka is a major source of ganja (cannabis), to the city. Since the districts and states borders are closed amidst lockdown, the supply of these banned substances to the city has been limited to a great level. MDMA can be manufactured locally; however, it requires labour and chemicals which is not easily available during the lockdown.

Lockdown has not just impacted the supply chain, but has also reduced demand. Supply and demand both have reduced, as the main targets of the drug peddlers are the youths, but colleges, social gatherings, parties and outings are now prohibited.  The watchful eyes of parents and the presence of cops have also played a role. “The shady business has been disrupted to the core. As the supply chain has been broken, the peddlers had to rely on their remaining stocks; however, amidst the lockdown, there was round-the-clock police presence on the roads and the drug peddlers were unable to sell their stock fearing arrest. As per our information, many erstwhile drug peddlers have switched to selling cigarettes,” anti-narcotics cell’s (ANC) DCP, Shivdeep Lande said.

As drug menace is a big headache and trouble for cops, it seems that this disruption is some relief, as due to the lockdown, the drugs business have crippled to a large extent. However, agencies fear that once everything becomes normal, the supply chain will eventually open and peddlers and potential buyers will become active again.