New Delhi: The 5th India-Myanmar Bilateral Meeting on Drug Control Cooperation between the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India and the Central Committee on Drug Abuse Control, Myanmar, was held virtually on Thursday,10th December. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India, the Indian delegation was led by the Director-General of the Narcotics Control Bureau, Rakesh Asthana, and the Myanmar delegation was led by the Commander of the Drug Enforcement Division (DED) cum Joint Secretary of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, Pol. Brig. Gen. Win Naing.
NCB DG Rakesh Asthana highlighted issues, particularly the trafficking of heroin and amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) in the country, saying that high prevalence of drug abuse in the north-eastern states abutting the Myanmar border is a major cause of concern for India. Apart from porosity of the India-Myanmar border, drug trafficking through the maritime route in Bay of Bengal has emerged as a new challenge for both countries, said DG Asthana, adding that the NCB has remained committed to strengthening the existing mechanism of sharing information and assistance with Myanmar for combating the drug menace in the region, stated the press communication from the Home Affairs Ministry.
The DED Commander Pol. Brig. Gen. Win Naing elaborated on the growing threat of the production of yaba tablets (methamphetamine) which has caused grave concern in the region, even though the cooperation mechanism between Myanmar and India has been enhanced over the past years. He urged India to develop frequent information exchange on the trafficking of drugs and precursor smuggling activities at every level. The DED Commander complimented the Government of India and the NCB for their continuous efforts to combat the growing threat of the drug menace, the Home Ministry stated.
Both countries agreed on the exchange of intelligence information in a timely manner to conduct follow-up investigations in drug seizure cases, new psychotropic substances, and their precursors. They also agreed to conduct Border Level Officers/Field Level Officers meetings on regular basis between frontline officers to strengthen the existing cooperation on drug law enforcement. It was decided to exchange information on illegal entry and exit points of illicit drug trafficking on the Myanmar-India borders and information on the technology being used to interdict drug trafficking, the MHA stated.
The Home Ministry said that the meeting concluded with an exchange of thanks and greetings for constructive and meaningful discussions and committed to such cooperation in the future, with the decision to hold the 6th India-Myanmar Bilateral Meeting on Drug Control Cooperation in India in 2021.
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