February 15, 2021 1:22:59 am
TWO PERSONS were arrested from Borivali by the Mumbai crime branch last week with charas worth Rs 56 lakh. Last month, charas worth Rs 1.6 crore was seized from Dahisar with three persons being arrested.
The common link in these two cases like several other cases of charas seizures in the city in the past two years has been its source: Nepal.
While earlier the main suppliers of charas were drug networks operating from Jammu and Himachal Pradesh, officers from the Anti Narcotics Cell and crime branch said that in the past two years Nepal has emerged as a major source of the cannabis resin.
An officer said that since the past two years, the supply of charas from Jammu to the city has almost stopped due to a variety of reasons. “Apart from a crackdown by central agencies on fields growing the contraband there, recent political developments like revocation of Article 370 have led to its supply to the city dwindling to a halt,” the officer said.
While charas from Himachal Pradesh, especially the high in demand Manala Cream, is still making its way to the city, crackdown there has also led to a reduction in supply. “It has been seen that charas from Nepal through the ‘Motihari route’ via Bihar to the city has been on the rise,” an ANC officer said.
Another reason for its high demand is the fact that it is cheaper since it is low quality. “While the charas from Himachal and Jammu was highly potent, it cost more. Charas from Nepal is comparatively not as potent but is cheaper. Hardly anyone can make out the difference just by looking at the contraband. In fact, we know of cases where even in Himachal, Nepali charas is sold as Malana Cream,” an IPS officer said.
The officer explained that charas is generally grown in the mountains and the stretch of the Himalayas from Himachal to Nepal is one of the main sources of charas. From Nepal, it is smuggled into Bihar through the border from where the narcotic makes its way to the city.
Last year in September, the UP police had arrested nine persons that included three Nepali nationals with 26 kg charas at Muzaffarpur. The accused had told the police that the charas was from Nepal and they were headed to Mumbai to deliver it.
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