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Minister wants cargo checks

- Gaikhangam concerned over increased drug smuggling

Imphal, Oct. 26: Concerned with the report of rampant abuse of drugs by youths, Manipur home minister Gaikhangam has requested the civil aviation ministry to check the use of airline cargo by drug smugglers.

The request came after haul of tablets from a flight at the Imphal airport recently. The home minister also instructed police to step up vigil against drug traffickers.

“The home minister has requested the civil aviation authorities to look into the case of smuggling of tablets by smugglers in flights coming to Imphal. The ministry has assured to look into the matter,” a source in the home minister’s office said.

Gaikhangam also gave a brief account of seizure of drugs at Imphal airport by the police in the recent past and expressed concern about the alleged lapses on part of security agencies deployed at the airports.

Official sources said the tablets were smuggled in Delhi-Imphal flights. Though the state police could not provide details of the haul of drugs from Imphal airport, sources in the department said there had been seizures from time to time.

Gaikhangam also instructed the police to intensify vigil at Imphal airports and check trucks coming to the state to prevent smuggling of drugs, as there had been cases of seizure of tablets from trucks coming to Imphal too.

“The home minister also asked the police to prepare a report on the recent seizure of drugs at the Imphal airport and pending cases and submit the report to him for taking up the matter with the civil aviation ministry,” the official said.

Gaikhangam is reportedly concerned with the failure of security agencies to track down the drug kingpins. So far, only couriers have been caught with the tablets. He directed the police to speed up investigation into the cases of drug smuggling and frame chargesheets.

On October 11, Narcotics and Affairs of Borders, the anti-narcotics cell of the police had seized 60,000 capsules of Spasmoproxyvon, valued at Rs 3.5 lakh from Imphal airport from a resident of Lilong in Thoubal district identified as H.R. Raj. He had procured the tablets from Delhi and brought them on Air India flight. During interrogation, Raj revealed that he planned to sell the tablets to youths during Durga Puja, Diwali and Ningol Chakkouba, a Manipuri festival.

In September, the police seized three cartons of the same tablets from Imphal airport, whose consignments were sent from Delhi through a courier service. No one was arrested in the case.


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