New Delhi: Flights from the north east of India and from African nations have come under the scanner of security agencies, with narcotics worth more than Rs10 crore being seized across all airports till January, officers at the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said.

At Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport alone, security officials of CISF seized narcotics substances such as pseudoephedrine, methaqualone, cocaine and heroin worth Rs3.57 crore until January as compared to Rs3.62 crore worth of all narcotics seized in 2015.

Bangalore airport saw a massive jump in drug smuggling with cocaine and opium seizures jumping from Rs5.2 lakh worth in 2015 to Rs4.65 crore in 2016.

CISF documents reveal that flight routes leading to India from South Africa, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Nigeria have seen the maximum amount of drug smuggling in 2015 and 2016. The domestic route is mapped from Guwahati and Imphal to Delhi.

“The maximum cases of seizures have happened on the Africa-India route and from north east of India to Delhi. This is because processing of drugs is cheapest in Delhi. So the raw materials are brought in from China through the northeast, processed in Delhi as party drugs, packaged as pharmaceutical tablets, and then sent back through the same route to China," said a CISF official on condition of anonymity.

The CISF has been working very closely with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), with sleuths keeping a close watch at airports. However, in several cases offenders have slipped away with drugs in their checked-in luggage.

“The CISF has very strong detection capabilities—be it for drugs or any other contraband items. The only problem is that we don’t get access to check-in luggage of passengers. In the hand luggage that passengers carry, the amount is much less. But we are training our men through the NCB in detecting narcotics wherever they can," said O.P. Singh, director general of CISF.

While detections largely happen based on tip-offs, the CISF added that they were keeping a close watch on baggage inspection points.

“Detection happens largely based on intelligence tip-offs and intensive electronic and manual surveillance. We train people, who pick up information from various sources. We are working very closely with agencies such as the NCB, the local police and the customs department in clamping down on the inflow and outflow of narcotics through hand baggage or check-in luggage," Singh added.

Once seizures happen at airports, the CISF—as per protocol and procedure—hands over the case to the NCB, which then investigates the matter.

“When such seizures happen by the CISF, we are called immediately to the spot. Our teams are sent to the respective airports and then the narcotics substances, irrespective of the quantity, are handed over to us along with the person who was responsible for travelling with it. We then take the investigation process forward from there," said a senior NCB official, requesting anonymity.

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