- The latest report released by United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says that India is one of the major hubs of illicit drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.
Key findings of the report:
- While the global trend of purchasing drugs over the internet, particularly on darknet trading platforms using cryptocurrencies has already spread across South Asia, it is particularly rampant in India.
- India is also a transit country for illicitly produced opiates, in particular heroin. The route used by traffickers to smuggle opiates through South Asia is an alternative part of the so-called “southern route”, which runs through Pakistan or the Islamic Republic of Iran, via the Gulf countries, continues to East Africa and on to destination countries.
- Also, India, Australia, France and Turkey accounted for 83% of global production of morphine-rich opiate raw materials in 2017. The stocks were considered sufficient to cover 19 months of expected global demand by manufacturers at the 2018 level of demand.
- Established in 1997 through a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention, UNODC is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime.
- UNODC relies on voluntary contributions, mainly from Governments, for 90% of its budget.
- UNODC is mandated to assist Member States in their struggle against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism.