BIMSTEC Meet to Combat Drug Trafficking Day 1: Irani, Afghan meth & maritime issues

New Delhi: The BIMSTEC Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking concluded in New Delhi yesterday. Over two days of extensive deliberations, the Conference provided a platform for partner nations to share ideas and exchange best practices required to combat the drug menace in the region.

The first day of the Conference, 13 February, witnessed two thematic sessions. The first session was on maritime trafficking of drugs in the region and sharing of experiences by BIMSTEC countries. The session was chaired by Krishnaswamy Natarajan, PTM, TM, Director General, Indian Coast Guard, and co-chaired by representatives from Sri Lanka and Thailand. The session witnessed detailed presentations by all member nations. The common factor among all the presentations was the increased trafficking of heroin in the Bay of Bengal region.

The Chair and the co-chairs raised concerns about meth and ketamine trafficking through maritime routes. The recent seizures by Coast Guard forces called for more coordination and information-sharing among the member nations.

The second thematic session of the day was on the production & trafficking of meth in the region, chaired by Balesh Kumar, DG, DRI, India and co-chaired by Ye Win Aung of Myanmar and Police Major Suriya Singhakamol. The presentations and the discussions revolved around the need for regional cooperation to tackle the problem of manufacture and trafficking of meth in the region. Emergence of Afghanistan and Iran as major centres for plant-based meth was also shared by most members.

The Conference brought out the best practices followed in terms of drug law enforcement in BIMSTEC nations. All the BIMSTEC nations reaffirmed their commitment to increased cooperation.

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The ID Staff

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