Drug Abuse in the Global Village
Drug Abuse in Asia

Supply Sources of Drugs in South Asia

Seized heroin is reported to originate from the Golden Triangle reaching Bangladesh by land or sea, and from the Golden Crescent by air via India and Pakistan. Seized cocaine is reported to originate from Latin America reaching Bangladesh by sea, cannabis from India, and opium from India and Pakistan (U.N. 1991).

            The sale of opium through a government controlled vending system was legal until 1984 when the government banned its consumption and closed down the vends. The legal cultivation of cannabis was stopped by the government with effect from 1 January 1990 and closed the 400 vending points throughout the country (DNC 1991).

No information reported by 31st December 1993.

Small scale illicit growth of opium poppy in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is reported. Foot and motorized patrols and manual destruction are said to be effective. India has undertaken detection and destruction campaigns in cannabis cultivation areas (ESCAP 1991).

            India is reported to be a transit country for drugs originating from the Golden Triangle as well as from the Golden Crescent (Dass, B. 1992).

A major proportion of the seized drugs are reported to originate from or was in transit through India or Sri Lanka, by air or cargo ships. Small scale cultivation of cannabis for personal use is reported. Benzodiazepines are reported obtained from pharmacies without prescription both in Maldives and abroad (Maldives 1993).

Cannabis is reported to grow wild in the hilly areas of the country or illicitly cultivated in small plots in the plains. Heroin (brown sugar) is reported smuggled across the open borders with neighbouring countries. Nepal is reported used as a transit country for heroin (white heroin) from Thailand destined for a third country. Psychotropic substances and other abused medical preparations are reported to be legally imported into Nepal, mainly from India, but reach the illicit market due to inefficient control mechanisms (HONLEA 1993).

The cannabis plant is illegally grown in the dry zone of Southern and South Eastern Sri Lanka. The total area under cultivation is estimated at 2,000 hectares. The quantity of cannabis produced in Sri Lanka is in excess of the amount required for local consumption and is exported. Kerala ganja (Indian Hemp), which is of a higher potency than the local product, is smuggled to Sri Lanka from India by sea, both for local consumption and for trafficking to other parts of the world (Guniyangoda, D. 1993).

            India and Pakistan are the sources of most heroin brought into Sri Lanka. The majority of traffickers are Sri Lankan couriers who travel by air and arrive in Sri Lanka from ports in India and Pakistan. Illegal transport of heroin by sea to Sri Lanka is also reported. Fishermen using trawlers and fiberglass boats across the Palk Strait are suspected. Sri Lanka is also used as a transit point for trafficking of heroin especially to Western Europe (De Silva, B. 1993).

            The Police Narcotics Bureau reports that northern terrorist groups of Sri Lanka dominate drug trafficking between India and Sri Lanka to fund their terrorist activities (U.N. 1990).