The narcotics wing of Bengaluru’s Central Crime Branch (CCB) is cracking down on darknet mail. A particular concern is centered around drugs that can be hidden “in sheets of paper or inside books.”
Mail courier agencies are going to be required to develop a drug identification system. There is a focus on smaller mail agencies, especially those already deficient in this department. A CCB source tells The Hindu “We will ask them to scan every parcel and also ask for the identity of the sender along with proof.” Police are aware that scanning packages mailed to fake names and addresses will provide few results; the current goal is to catch those who use their real name and address.
Sunil Kumar Sinha, zonal director, Narcotics Control Bureau, Bengaluru, says, “It is very difficult to track dealings done through the darknet. Even financial transactions are virtual.” His team is involved in training courier agencies to identify narcotics in packages. Another CCB officer confirms “It’s very difficult to track online trade, because these drugs are ordered in small quantities from one’s home.”
In July, Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau, RR Bhatnagar, spoke about the growing darknet concerns. India’s borders had become increasingly difficult to pass through while traditionally trafficking heroin or opium. However, the increased popularity in darknet markets threatened to reverse their years of work. Bhatnagar speaks about two syndicates that operate within India’s borders, shipping drugs throughout the world. Those will be the first to go.
The NCB’s probe into two major drug organizations in India resulted in several syndicate operatives being identified. However, more evidence was needed in order to arrest the individuals. Bhatnagar explained that NCB was going to be developing a new system to catch this type of criminal.
Despite reports of an alarming drug problem, the CCB has only registered 13 cases of drug seizures in 2016. “Seizures range from ganja (cannabis), cocaine, methaqualone, opium, LSD, ephedrine, ecstasy and ketamine. The smugglers have clients in every strata of the society – from corporate clients to students,” said a CCB officer.