New Delhi: The 4th Bilateral Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting between the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India and the National Narcotics Board (BNN) of Indonesia was held on Thursday, 17th December. The Indian delegation was led by Rakesh Asthana, Director General, Narcotics Control Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, and the Indonesian delegation was led by Puji Sarwono, Deputy of Legal Affairs and Cooperation, National Narcotic Board of Indonesia, according to a press note from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India.
The MHA said that NCB Director General Asthana expressed his gratitude to the Government of Indonesia and the Head of BNN, Indonesia, for conducting this virtual meeting amid the global pandemic Covid-19. The NCB DG highlighted issues particularly the trafficking of heroin and Amphetamine Type Stimulant (ATS) in the country through land and maritime routes originating from the Golden Triangle. He also mentioned the new emerging challenge of trafficking of drugs through the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. DG Asthana also spoke about the emerging trends in the production and trafficking of new psychoactive substances and usage of dark-net markets. Covid-19 has brought new challenges for containing the sudden spurt in trafficking through courier and parcel, he said, ensuring that the Government of India is committed to strengthening the existing mechanism of coordination and cooperation with Indonesia in combating drug trafficking.
Puji Sarwono, Deputy of Legal Affairs and Cooperation, BNN, Indonesia, elaborated on the growing threat of trafficking of methamphetamine in Indonesia, which he said has caused grave concern in the region even though the cooperation mechanism between Indonesia and India has been enhanced over the past years. He urged India to develop frequent information exchange on drugs trafficking and precursor smuggling activities at every level, and complimented the Government of India and the NCB for their continuoing efforts to combat the growing threat of the drug menace.
The Ministry of Home Affairs stated that both countries agreed on exchange of intelligence information in a timely manner to conduct follow-up investigation in drug seizure cases, New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), and their precursors. It was decided to exchange information on illegal entry and exit points of illicit drug trafficking on the Indonesia-India borders and information on technology being used to interdict drug trafficking.
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 5th India-Indonesia Bilateral Joint Working Group (JWG) Meeting on Drug Control Cooperation in India in 2021.
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