The drug rackets are creaming on the current state of turmoil in neighbouring Myanmar to traffic in huge consignments of narcotics into Mizoram, the northeast state that is accepting refugees who slipped in through the porous border, state excise and narcotics department officials said.
Myanmar’s democratic government was toppled by the junta in a coup last February 1 and the country has been under series of clashes between the masses led by the current government-in-exile with the Junta army since then.
Mizoram, that shares an ethnic connection to the people of Chin state of Myanmar had been accepting refugees since the coup and currently have over 12,000 from the country despite the Union government’s directive to detain them as India is not part of the UN Refugee Convention of 1952 and the subsequent protocol of 1967.
A senior official of the excise and narcotics department in Aizawl said that due to easy passage, the price of heroin has drastically come down.
“While the street value of a hawng (a package of 12 to 13gm of heroin) was over Rs 80,000 when the border was sealed due to Covid-19 last year, the same can be purchased for Rs 25,000 in Myanmar and sold in Mizoram for Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000,” the official said adding that the Myanmar administration was too occupied with the civil war to check narcotics trafficking.
Heroin is a highly addictive narcotic developed from morphine which is actually extracted from opium. It is a very refined version of Brown Sugar and is produced mostly in Myanmar which finds its way to northeast through the porous borders in Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
According to the official, the traffickers use banks and UPI services to conduct the transaction which were earlier done in cash. While the heroin consignments were transported from Myanmar to Mizoram by vehicles even without the knowledge of the drivers, for large quantities, a few people in Mizoram are picking up consignments from Myanmar, where drug “mules” are still in business he said.