HISTORY OF DRUGS DRUG S IN NEPAL. N EPAL. ................................ ................ ................................. ....................... ...... 4 ROYALTY AND DRUGS D RUGS ............................... .............. ................................. ................................. ....................... ...... 5 DRUG CONTROL INITIATIVES I NITIATIVES,, LAWS AND LEGISLATIONS. ... 7 RELIGIOUS ASPECT AND SOCIAL USE. ......................................... 8 DRUG TRAFFICKING ........................................................................ 10 Seizures and Confiscations: ............................................................... 11 Proactive measures: ........................................................................... 12 HYPOTHESIS. ...................................................................................... 14 SURVEY ANALYSIS. ......................................................................... 15 CONCLUSION ....................................................................................... 17 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................... 18 APPENDIX .............................................................................................. 20
INTRODUCTION Nepal has always been a country associated with drugs. Although Although Nepal doesn’t count
in one of the highly drug infected nations, yet, the abuse and trafficking over the past few decades have been very prominent and a subject of media coverage. Several factors have contributed to the recent reputation of Nepal as a drug hub and a transit point for drug trafficking. traffickin g. Traditionally, narcotics and drugs have never been illegal in Nepal. Even laws and acts were not effective to change the mind-set of the people. This served as a major problem because it gave rise to unexpected drug use in Nepal and alarming rates of drug trafficking to abroad. Majority of the people in Nepal follow the Hindu religion and hence believe in the consumption of certain mild drugs such as Hashish, Marijuana, Bhang, etc. This was one of the reasons why these drugs were not illegalised until the US government exerted pressure on the King of Nepal to illegalise it only in 1973. Until then, Nepal was known as the “Hippie Shangri -La”. Hippies would embark a journey from
Western Europe to Nepal because marijuana was legal. But after 1973, the hippies were all sent back but the habit of consumption did not leave the borders of Nepal and has been plaguing the nation for decades now. The researcher has introduced the history of drugs in Nepal in the first chapter. He has shown the transition phase from the legal status to the illegal status of the drugs and how the society has coped up with this change. Thereafter, he has disclosed the involvement of the Royal Family in the drug trafficking and how this had repercussions on the nation. The researcher has then shown how religion has been used as an excuse for consumption of mild drugs and how that has had adverse effects. The main topic of discussion in this paper is related to the drug trafficking in and out of Nepal. The researcher has shown datas and shown the reason behind Nepal’s involvement in this trafficking issue. He has also shown how the Government
of Nepal has shown serious concern and taken measures to curb this problem. Then the researcher has provided information attained from interviewing a Deputy Superintendent of Police of the Narcotic Drugs Control Law Enforcement Unit(NDCLEU). With this he has concluded his paper.
HISTORY OF DRUGS IN NEPAL. Drug use and abuse has been prevalent since times immemorial. In medieval times drugs were primarily used for medicinal purposes. Plantation of drugs like opium dates back to 4000 B.C. Also, hemp is considered to be the oldest cultivated plant. These practices have spread throughout the world but it has been deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of countries like Nepal, Jamaica, India, etc.1 The history of drug in Nepal is difficult to trace and still remains a mystery. However, Nepal came to the lime light in the 1960’s and 1970’s when drug use began to be seen
as a problem in the country for the first time. This time period noticed a large influx of “Hippies” from abroad into Nepal. The The Hippie Trail was a trend popular in East
Asia where tourists would embark a journey from either Amsterdam or London. Nepal was the place to be in for these hippies h ippies as marijuana and hashish were legal and sold freely in Government licensed shops.2 This situation in Nepal was the result of a strong Western influence which had swept all of Nepal under its wings. What followed was a strong demonstration effect. The legal status of marijuana saw young men and old smoking marijuana mixed with tobacco in the streets freely. The perception of Nepalese also changed dramatically. Westerners thought that Nepalese people were happy and content people because they were generally high. Marijuana plants were grown everywhere and it was not surprising to find these plants grown along main streets.3 Prior to 1972, Nepal was under the rule of King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. After his death in 1972, the throne was ascended by King Birendra. It was then that marijuana started attaining an illegal status in Nepal. King Birendra’s reign brought
changes by leaps and bounds. For starters, the Hippies were deported back to their respective countries and India. Cannabis was prohibited in 1973. Richard Nixon had apparently paid the king 50- 70 million dollars to illegalize marijuana and its use in Nepal. It was a sad moment for those hippies. hippi es.4
Prabin Shrestha, Policy initiatives for drug control in Nepal , 2(2), THE HEALTH, 66-68, 2011. ING OF NEPAL, (2006). Reviewed from Joseph Pietri, The Drug Trail Ends in Kathmandu , THE K ING http://kingofnepal.net/files/articles.html http://kingofnepal.net/files/articles.h tml (Last visited on September 13, 2012). 3 http://www.photius.com/countries/nepal/society/nepal_society_soc http://www.photius.com/countries/n epal/society/nepal_society_social_system_and_va~10102.html ial_system_and_va~10102.html 4 Supra note 2. 2
The 70’s had experienced incalculable change in the context of drugs. The use of
opium in the form of smoke and poppy seeds in food was quite common. Nepal hadn’t exactly come up against the use of hard drugs. Drugs like Brown Sugar,
Morphine, etc. entered with the hippies but never left the nation. Even after the Drug Control Act of 1976, which banned the production, storage, sale, consumption and trade of all types of drugs listed in the act, drug usage in Nepal took a different shape altogether. King Birendra initiated the idea of popularising the issue of drug abuse through media. Drug laws took a strict stance in dealing with users. This shifted the addicts to psychoactive substances which were difficult to detect by the authorities. In the early 80’s, the use of Tidigesic(buprenorphine) in the form of injections became
popular among the communities of Nepal. This gave rise to the spread of HIV and other diseases among the injection users.5 The use of drugs was now engraved in the Nepalese culture. Teenagers and young adults had also taken a plunge in this practice. Students started selling and consuming drugs. The people of Nepal had moved from smoking Marijuana and Hashish to stronger drugs such as cocaine and crack. Initially, it was the westerners who were influenced by the drug culture of Nepal, but as time proceeded, the Nepalese people were captivated by the Western drug culture.6
ROYALTY AND DRUGS The citizens of Nepal have found solace in holding the foreigners responsible for the introduction of drugs and the drug abuse that followed. Little do they know that the source of this problem was none other than their own Royal Family with their own Kings monitoring every move at its core. Several controversies have surrounded the involvement of the Royal blood in the drug trafficking and every aspect of the black market. King Birendra had ascended the throne in 1973. Despite of the fact that he had illegalised Marijuana and other drugs, he had an active involvement in the arbitrage of drugs from and to various parts of the world. In the early 1980’s there were several 5
Supra note 1. Supra note 3.
incidents which exposed the involvement of the Royal Family in the drug trafficking. Heroin was being imported from Burma in Army and Police Trucks by none other than the Royal Family. The Royals had stuck their finger in every pie and regulated each and every aspect of the black market. 7 Several events were reported where the Crown Prince Dipendra in the 1980’s who
was reported to have been sent to a rehab in Switzerland. Also, Prince Gyanendra was in charge of the Olympics Committee and it was for the first time that the Nepalese Football team had qualified for the Olympics in 1984. The Royal Family had intended to transport 150 kilos of hashish to Los Angeles with the football team. The football team was detained at LAX with the heroin. However, this issue was quickly kept behind curtains curtai ns and never brought bro ught up again. A year later, Annapurna Hotel(owned Hot el(owned by by the Royal Family) and a couple of other important places in Kathmandu were bombed as a response to the mess created in LA. 8 Yet again, in 1986, a group of American narcotics agents came to Kathmandu for a SAARC conference. They bought two kilos of pure heroin from a place called Asan Tol. This heroin was then thrown on the desk of the then Inspector General of Police D. B. Lama with a threat that they will cut off all aid to Nepal. D. B. Lama was the frontman for the Royal family heroin trade and was later arrested for his major role in all of the drug . The Royal Family’s slate remained clean throughout.
There have been innumerable issues relating to the Royal Family but these issues have remained concealed due to the influence of the royal family. Members of the Royal Family have always been top players in the international heroin market. Moments when Birendra betrayed the Nepalese citizens by illegalising Marijuana and Hashish and yet controlling the internal trade of these very drugs shall never be forgotten. However far-fetched it may seem, the citizens have been the victims of this malpractice and this has been largely responsible for the present status of drug abuse and trafficking in Nepal.
Supra note 2. Supra note 2 9 Supra note 2. 8
DRUG CONTROL INITIATIVES, LAWS AND LEGISLATIONS. Nepal first saw the introduction introduct ion of a law in this area in 1960 under the Liquor Control Act, 1960 which made it compulsory to have a license to produce and sell cannabis. 10 Nepal adhered to two other UN conventions conv entions on narcotic n arcotic drugs. The first one being bein g the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs, 1961 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.11 But the principal law that saw the illegalisation of drugs like marijuana and hashish along with other drugs and the strict intolerance towards drug usage was the Narcotic Drugs Control Act, 2033(1976). This Act clearly addresses the prohibition of production, sale, use, storage and trade of narcotic substances cited in its body. The drugs that this Act is aimed at are clearly described in Section 3(a), namely, cannabis, medicinal cannabis, opium, processed opium, plants and leaves of coca, any natural or synthetic narcotic drug or psychotropic substance and their salts and other substance as may be specified by the Nepal Gazette notification. Any violator to this act could be sentence upto 20 years year s in prison and a fine.12 However, this act was subject to three amendments in 1981, 1987 and 1992.13 The amendment in 1992 was rather important because it saw the inclusion of various other clauses and issues of concern. Among many adjustments, the clauses from the two UN conventions were put under the charter of this Act, the Narcotics Drug Control Law Enforcement Unit (NDCLEU)of Nepal was assigned with powers to prosecute drug law offenses and most importantly, cash rewards and the destruction of confiscated drugs were also included. 14 After the establishment of a Democratic Government in 1990, the laws have taken a stronger hold. Nepal’s commitment to control the drug abuse and trafficking has been
Supra note 1. Drugs and Law in Nepal , http://addictionsupport.aarogy http://addictionsupport.aarogya.com/law/drugs-a-law/729-drugs-a-law-ina.com/law/drugs-a-law/729-drugs-a-law-inth nepal.html (Last visited on 17 September, 2012). 12 Id. 13 Supra note 1. 14 Supra note 11. 11
RELIGIOUS ASPECT AND SOCIAL USE. Until 2007, Nepal was the only Hindu nation of the world. Although it has now been declared as a secular state, many people still have their hearts inclined towards the Hindu religion. Nepalese citizens believe in the worship of Hindu gods and goddesses. The majority of the populace still comprises of the Hindu followers and their voice is the one that reaches the ears of the authorities. Since ancient time Nepalese people have believed that Cannabis, Bhang and Hashish are items of worshipping Lord Shiva. People have been consuming such drugs with this belief in mind. According to the Hindu religious books, Lord Shiva used to enjoy smoking such drugs for meditation. It is for this reasom that smoking marijuana on the day of Shivaratri is legal. It is common to see people consume Bhang and Marijuana during Holi and Shivaratri in the name of God Shiva or “Shivabuti” or even “Shivajee ka Prasad”. However, the leaders behind this kind of a worship are
none other than the Sadhus and Yogis. They have been smoking marijuana since ancient times to feel relaxed and to help meditate and to honour their Lord Shiva. They have never been interrupted by law enforcing bodies as the Sadhus claim that they are doing for religious purposes. However, this type of a practice affected the youth of the Nepalese society who in turn imitate these Sadhus and end up consuming drugs of this kind.15 Shivaratri is one of the major Hindu festivals that the people celebrate. On this day, thousands of Hindu devotees from other countries also visit the famous Pashupati Nath Temple in Nepal. This day marks the worship of Lord Shiva and it is a government declared holiday in both Nepal as well as India. Nevertheless, in Nepal the scene is quite unique on this day. Thousands of Sadhus who have renounced all worldly possessions and live in caves visit the temple weeks before the festival and huge camps have to be set up to accommodate these sadhus.16 However, these Sadhus are permitted to smoke marijuana by themselves only. The Pashupati Area Development Trust has allowed only the Sadhus to smoke marijuana, 15
Supra note 1. Agence France-Presse, Nepal cracks down on Cannabis at Hindu festival , THE R AW AW STORY, February 20, 2012, available at http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/20/nepal-cracks-down-on http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/20/nepal-cracks-down-oncannabis-at-hindu-festival/ (Last visited on September 14, 2012). 16
but very often the situation has gone out o ut of hand h and and these Sadhus indulge in selling the drug to commoners. This year, the Police Authorities deployed 4500 officers1800 armed, 200 undercover and plainclothes detectives to maintain law and order in the temple. 70 people were arrested on account of consuming excessive marijuana but not one Sadhu was touched.17
A Sadhu smokes Cannabis Cannabis in the open on the day day of Shivaratri 18
Hindu leaders still continue to exert a great amount of influence on the government. As a result of this, the government is reluctant to take actions against the Gurus to avoid tensions. It is even suspected that these Gurus are involved in the international drug trade. The police authorities turn a blind eye when the Gurus indulge in malpractices. They often complain that it is difficult to distinguish a cigarette and a hashish joint.19
Steve Elliot, Holy Uncool: Nepal Cracks Down On Cannabis Cannabis At Hindu Festival , TOKE OF THE TOWN, February 20, 2012 available at www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/02/holy_uncool_nepal_cracks_down_on_cannabis_at_hindu.ph www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/02/holy _uncool_nepal_cracks_down_on_cannabis_at_hindu.php p (Last visited on September 14, 2012). 18 Id. 19 Kalpit Parajuli, Nepal at the centre of international drug trafficking, A SIA NEWS, June 7, 2012 available at http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Nepal-at-the-centre-of-international-drug-trafficking25216.html (Last visited on September 17, 2012).
DRUG TRAFFICKING Nepal has faced innumerable difficulties with regards to drug trafficking. This problem has plagued the country cou ntry for a couple of decades decad es now. The economic and political crisis along with the religious traditions have increased the illegal drug trade with countries like India, China, Arab countries, Europe and USA. Another reason for this trade may be due to poverty and unemployment. Women and children are used as tools to smuggle drugs across borders. Nepal as such has never been a large producer of opium and marijuana. Yet, due to its geographical location, it has been used as a transit point for the trafficking of drugs. Several plantations do exist exis t but they are concentrated in the t he Terai region. 20 Nepal may not no t be one o ne of the major drug trafficking traffickin g hub as compared to countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Afghanistan, etc. but recent statistics show a rise in the drug trafficking from Nepal which is escalating its name in the list of the countries.21 However, police officials think that the porosity of borders and the lack of security personnel is the prime reason behind behin d the increasing drug dru g trafficking. traffickin g. Most of the drug traffickers take advantage of the ill-equipped and inefficient Airport Security in the Tribhuvan International Airport. The drugs such as opium and white heroin are smuggled from Afghanistan to Pakistan and then to Nepal by air. Thereafter, these drugs are smuggled to India through the porous borders and then shipped to various places around the world. Hence, it can be said that Nepal is the link being used to transport drugs from Afghanistan to India and then to the rest of the world.22 The top destinations that where the drugs are trafficked to are mostly European countries like Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and other nations such as Japan, Canada, Australia and the USA. Traffickers mostly use personal carriers, air freights and couriers as tools for trafficking drugs via land or air from Nepal to different parts of the world. 23 20
Supra note 19. Naresh Newar, Nepal thrives as regional drug hub , NEPALI TIMES, May 28, 2004, available at http://www.nepalitimes.com/issue/2004/05/28/Nation/2695#.UGBd51Eyf http://www.nepalitimes.com/is sue/2004/05/28/Nation/2695#.UGBd51EyfWR WR (Last visited on September 19, 2012). 22 http://www.gulftimes.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=492151&v times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=492151&version=1&template_id=45&parent_id= ersion=1&template_id=45&parent_id= 25. 23 Kiran Chapagain, Nepal worried it is becoming a drug trafficking hub , K HABAR HABAR SOUTH ASIA, April 4, 2012, available at http://khabarsouthasia.com/en_GB/articles/apwi/articles/features/2012/04/04/feature-02 21
As of now, Nepal is the largest producer of cannabis resin in South of Asia. The amount of cultivation of cannabis in the Terai region has increased in an alarming rate. Since Nepal shares a large border with India, and the Terai region is the one that India is in contact with, the trafficking that takes place is incalculable and this is a matter of grave concern.24 Most of the trafficking cases involve the smuggling of drugs like hashish, cannabis, opium, heroin, etc. but recently there have been instances where the smuggling of more lethal drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine have also been cited. The smugglers are mostly Indians followed by Nigerians.25 The eastern region of Nepal has noticed most cases of drug smuggling with India. DIG of Nepal Police, Binod Singh says:26 “These are serious criminal cases and police are on high alert. Regular meetings are held between our SPs and their Indian counterparts. We are looking forward to installing surveillance cameras on the border. The Indian border police have better surveillance, which we still lack .” .”
Seizures and Confiscations: Confiscations: In recent years, the numbers of drug seizures have increased substantially. The year 2011 and 2012 saw the largest number of seizures with the largest amounts of confiscated drugs. In June, Nepal police confiscated 2,600 kilograms of Hashish in Kathmandu with the arrest of five people. This was the largest drug bust in the history of Nepal. 27 Also a Thai national with 1 kg of pure cocaine worth U.S. $200,000 was arrested. This was the first ever seizure of such large amounts of cocaine.28 According to the report submitted by the NDCLEU, the first three months of 2012 itself involved the arrest of six foreigners and forty-seven Nepalese citizens with 1,035.35 kilograms of hashish and 2,496 kilograms of heroin. This is rather surprising as compared to the data in 2011 when 1,929.8 kilograms of hashish and 6,151
Supra note 1. Supra note 1. 26 Samik Kharel, Drug trafficking in the groove along Nepal-India Border , THE K ATHMANDU ATHMANDU POST, April 22, 2012. 27 Rajneesh Bhandari, Nepal Is Becoming a Haven for Drug Trafficking, THINK BRIGADE, July 18, 2012, available at http://thinkbrigade.com/development/nepal-is-becoming-a-haven-for-drugtrafficking/ (Last visited on September 18, 2012). 28 Id. 25
kilograms of heroin was confiscated throughout the year.29 The figures speak for themselves which indicate an increase in drug trafficking activities by leaps and bounds. With the progression of time, these drug trafficking practices have also increased. In 2011, there were 700 more traffickers arrested as compared to 2010 and in the first six months of 2012, 1,300 drug traffickers have already been arrested.30 These activities clearly show how Nepal is hitting the limelight by being one of the chosen drug transit points. It is estimated that around 9 billion rupees is leaving the country every year in terms of drug trafficking.31 Apparently, the hashish grown in Nepal is in high demand in Europe which the reason why most traffickers have been caught mostly with hashish and not hard drugs. The amounts of Hashish seizures have increased every year. However, experts remark that this does not necessarily mean that there has been a rise in trafficking but may mean that the officials are getting better at their job.32 The government has also taken several proactive measures to curb this problem of drug trafficking. The next subheading shall discuss the measures taken by the government and other law enforcing bodies in reducing smuggling and trafficking of drugs in Nepal.
Proactive measures: The major reason behind increasing drug trafficking in Nepal is due to the lax in security. One instance when the Nepal Airport Security received heavy criticism was when a parcel containing drugs was not detected in the airport. These incidents also serve as an incentive for the drug traffickers to choose Nepal for this foul practice. Officers continue to say that they have been trying their best in controlling this problem and have been using usi ng every equipment that they th ey possess. Basanta Raj Kunwar, a former senior police officer who runs Narconan Nepal said 33: “ Fighting against narcotic drugs has not yet become a national priority. There is only a small unit at the Home Ministry to deal with the problem and it lacks trained professionals.” professionals.”
Supra note 27. Supra note 27. 31 Supra note 23. 32 Supra note 21. 33 Supra note 23. 30
However, the Nepal police authorities and the Government of Nepal have taken several measures that have made differences. Security has tightened as of late and the seizures clearly show progress. In response to the NDCLEU reports, the Government has restricted the entry of various foreign nationals into Nepal. The Government of Nepal has refused to grant visas on arrival to citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan and residents of the Palestinian territories. The implementation of Machine Readable Passports(MRP) from December, 2010 onwards has detected many false passports and reduced the ability to travel with false passports. 34 The NDCLEU has a body of 75 agents working in major cities. Although they are handicapped by various problems, they have still been able to seize and report many cases of trafficking.35 The NDCLEU and the Nepalese Customs Department have also increased cooperation to ensure better functioning. More agents of the NDCLEU have been deployed in the International Airport. NDCLEU also conducts training programmes on drugs dru gs investigation for the police. po lice. The amounts of confiscation is also the result of the efficient working of these law enforcing agencies.36 National leaders l eaders have also addressed this issue very often and assured the public that better steps shall be taken to free Nepal from this curse. Awareness has also been spread through the holding of campaigns and observing the important days such as International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Kathmandu on the 26th of June every year.37 Nepal also has bilateral agreements with the United States Of America, Germany, Canada, Japan and Australia to fight drug trafficking. The United States has offered help to the Nepalese Government to combat narcotics trafficking and related crimes by providing p roviding expertise and training in law enforcement. Nepal has also collaborated with
Organisation(INTERPOL) of USA in the investigation of international drug trafficking issues.38
http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2011/vol1/156362.htm (Last visited on September 19, 2012). Supra note 21. 36 Supra note 34 37 Supra note 27. 38 Supra note 34. 35
HYPOTHESIS. The excessive drug abuse and trafficking has had an adverse impact on the general populace of Nepal. It is not only the traffickers who are affected by their crimes, but also the society as a whole. Firstly, the illegalisation of marijuana and other drugs in 1973 by the King Birendra had adverse consequences. The local farmers were deprived of their cash crops and they suffered for long as they had lost their source of income. More importantly, the King of Nepal was considered to be the reincarnation of the Lord Vishnu on Earth. He was God’s representative and above the commoners who worshipped him. The
general perception of the King should be that he can do no wrong and the King should be a perfect figure fi gure in front of his subjects. By illegalising drugs, dru gs, but running runni ng a parallel system of trafficking drugs from Burma and other nations in police and Army trucks, the name of the Royal Family was tainted. This was one of the many reasons why the people had lost faith in autocracy in Nepal. This act completely showed the selfish motive of the King and his disconcert for the people. The people became tired of waiting for the King to fulfil his promises to uplift the rural poor and they had started looking towards another body for hope and salvation. This was the reason for the peoples revolution for democracy in 1990s which brought an end to absolute autocracy and gave rise to the beginning of constitutional democracy. Secondly, the increasing drug abuse and trafficking brought Nepal in the limelight for the wrong reasons. The people suffered because of the drain of wealth in these wasteful practices. The society suffered because of the imitation of the hippie culture. The youth fell prey to this disgusting habit of consuming drugs and this led to addiction. Nepal noticed an increase in crime and smuggling as a result of the drug trafficking because drugs started funding crime in the society. The mortality rate reduced drastically and there was a rise of health issues. The children and women were mostly used in the drug trafficking which is a moral wrong. This can have educational implications. The youth were involved in less fruitful quests rather than educating themselves. All of these changes were and are still seen in Nepal due to the existence of drug trafficking and abuse.
The following analysis in this section is based on the interview that the researcher took of Mr Ravindra Regmi, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Narcotic Drugs Control Law Enforcement Unit(NDCLEU). This analysis covers the topic of drug trafficking and the legal procedure involved along with few other questions.
According to Mr Regmi, the drugs are seized in different parts of Nepal. However, most of the confiscation takes place in the capital city of Kathmandu itself. Most of the narcotic drugs that are present in Kathmandu are smuggled from India through the porous borders of the Parsa district in Birgunj. Whereas hashish is grown and produced in Nepal itself it self and trafficked to different differ ent parts part s of the world via India. Indi a. Some of the drugs are also trafficked through the Tribhuvan International Airport. Since, Hashish is grown and cultivated in the southern regions of Nepal, most of the trafficked drugs include Hashish and other types of drugs from Marijuana plant. The other trafficked drugs include Heroin and other medicinal drugs which come from India. When a person is arrested on the charges of drug possession or trafficking, the drugs are first confiscated after undergoing a proper search and seizure and then the documentation recording the quantities are made immediately. The police takes remand from the District Court to take the suspect in Police Custody for further investigation. The suspect can be detained for 90 days for investigation as per the Narcotic Drugs Control Act, 2033(1976). If the drugs are confiscated by the NDCLEU, then the person in charge should be informed first about the arrest and confiscation and if the police authorities confiscate the drugs, the district police officer in charge is to be informed first. These drugs are firstly recorded and documented and then three samples of three grams of each drug are sent to the Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (RONAST) for tests, the District Court and one sample is kept in the law enforcement office. The rest of the confiscated drugs are to be destroyed within 15 days of confiscation and arrest. The District Police have been entrusted with that responsibility to destroy the drugs and they have also been endowed with powers to
carry out investigation independently. The confiscated drugs are destroyed wherever they were found. The other items of confiscation will be handled according to the law and the clauses of the Act. The highest volume of Hashish seizure is from the Makawanpur district and from Kathmandu. Brown Sugar(low grade heroin) is also highly trafficked from India to Nepal. Drug trafficking from China into Nepal is not very ver y popular but few amounts of Hashish is smuggled to China via land or sometimes via flight. This is probably because the border with India is more porous than th an that of China. There is a shortage sh ortage in the manpower in the Border Security Force and other Law Enforcing Agencies related to Drug Trafficking. However, even if the number of officials and agents increase, it is very challenging because the borders with India are very porous. The main objective behind the drug trafficking issue has obviously been associated with money. Some of the traffickers smuggle drugs to climb out of their state of poverty. Other foreign traffickers chose Nepal for trafficking mostly Heroin because the security is easy to evade. This is probably because they think that if a shipment arrives from Nepal, the foreign security forces will not expect the smuggling of Heroin because Nepal doesn’t produce it and they will be on the lookout for hashish.
However, in Nepal, our judiciary and the Drug Control Act has been strong enough to bring about changes and reduce crime. The Nepalese society shuns and condemns the use and smuggling of drugs. A vast majority of the population follows the Hindu religion and they believe in the worship of Lord Shiva so they are pretty flexible with drugs like Marijuana but when it comes to other drugs, they have zero tolerance for them. Even on the day of Shivaratri, police officials offici als have been lenient leni ent and considered the intent with which the people peopl e use marijuana on that day. Nobody is allowed to keep any amount of drugs in their houses but several houses use some so me mild drugs for medicinal purposes. pu rposes. Nevertheless, the drug use has always given the wrong impression to the society in large. The drug trafficking issue has troubled the society as well as the Law Enforcement Bodies. It is pitiful to see the involvement of the youth in this foul practice. Although the statistics have been rising continuously, there is still hope and the people of Nepal have a shared opinion about drugs and it is to eradicate drug use completely.
CONCLUSION Nepal has suffered long in the name of drug trafficking. Despite many efforts taken by the authorities of Nepal, the numbers do not show any positive change as the number of seizures increase every year. However, the problem still remains that the youth have also been gripped by this problem and this has had a negative impact on the society. Although many measures have already been taken for the prevention of drug trafficking, there are still areas which remain untouched. The laws and regulations should be made stronger to deter the traffickers from smuggling drugs across the border and earning Nepal a bad name. Awareness should be provided to one and all about the harmful effects of drug use and trafficking. Seizures and arrests should be made public in order to show the prospective traffickers the future they could face. However, this project has revealed that the major issue remains the porosity of borders and lack la ck of efficient security personnel p ersonnel to check the th e trafficking traf ficking problem. The reason behind this problem is the underdevelopment of Nepal and its economic status too. Hence, until that doesn’t improve, drug trafficking will continue to victimise
BIBLIOGRAPHY ARTICLES AND ONLINE SOURCES: 1. Prabin Shrestha, Policy initiatives for drug control in Nepal , 2(2), THE HEALTH, 66-68, 2011. 2. Joseph Pietri, The Drug Trail Ends in Kathmandu , THE K ING ING OF NEPAL, (2006) available at http://kingofnepal.net/files/articles.html 3. http://www.photius.com/countries/nepal/society/nepal_society_social_system_ and_va~10102.html 4. Drugs and Law in Nepal , http://addictionsupport.aarogya.com/law/drugs-alaw/729-drugs-a-law-in-nepal.html 5. Agence France-Presse, Nepal cracks down on Cannabis Cannabis at Hindu festival , THE R AW AW STORY, February 20, 2012, available at http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/20/nepal-cracks-down-on-cannabis-athindu-festival/ 6. Steve Elliot, Holy Uncool: Nepal Cracks Down On Cannabis At Hindu Festival , TOKE OF THE TOWN, February 20, 2012 available at
www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/02/holy_uncool_nepal_cracks_down_on_cann abis_at_hindu.php 7. Kalpit Parajuli, Nepal at the centre of international drug trafficking, ASIA NEWS, June 7, 2012 available at http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Nepalat-the-centre-of-international-drug-trafficking-25216.html 8. Naresh Newar, Nepal thrives as regional drug hub, NEPALI TIMES, May 28, 2004, available at http://www.nepalitimes.com/issue/2004/05/28/Nation/2695#.UGBd51EyfWR 9. http://www.gulftimes.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=492151&version=1&tem plate_id=45&parent_id=25 plate_id=45&parent_i d=25 10. Kiran Chapagain, Nepal worried it is becoming a drug trafficking hub, K HABAR HABAR SOUTH ASIA, April 4, 2012, available at http://khabarsouthasia.com/en_GB/articles/apwi/articles/features/2012/04/04/f eature-02
11. Samik Kharel, Drug trafficking in the groove along Nepal-India Nepal-India Border , THE K ATHMANDU ATHMANDU POST, April 22, 2012. 12. Rajneesh Bhandari, Nepal Is Becoming a Haven for Drug Trafficking, THINK BRIGADE, July 18, 2012, available at http://thinkbrigade.com/development/nepal-is-becoming-a-haven-for-drugtrafficking/ 13. http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2011/vol1/156362.htm
APPENDIX 1. Which are the areas where the drugs are mostly confiscated? 2. What is the first step taken after the drugs are confiscated? 3. What are the methods in taking the accused in judicial custody? Where is he taken? What is done with him? Is the centre reported immediately? 4. How are are the confiscated items dealt with with immediately? How are they later disposed of? Can the districts exercise discretional authority and act independently? 5. Are the confiscated items sent to the capital to be dealt with? Are there departments to undertake the tasks related to confiscation present in every district? 6. What are the drugs that are mostly trafficked across the borders of which countries? What reasons have the traffickers given for smuggling these drugs other than monetary interests? 7. What are the quantities of the drugs trafficked? What means do the traffickers adopt? 8. How strong is the judiciary in bringing about changes and in punishing the accused? Increase or decrease in the trafficking or not? not? 9. What are the sources of these drugs? Are they planted or grown in Nepal itself? How long has Nepal Nepal been plagued by this issue? 10. What are the main reasons for these traffickers t o choose Nepal as a transit point? 11. How efficient have border security and other law enforcing bodies been in checking these issues? 12. How does society perceive the usage of drugs such as Marijuana, Hashish? What is the cultural acceptance of such drugs too? 13. To what extent are drugs such as marijuana used in households? What health aspects does it have and how prevalent is its us e in the villages? 14. What impact does all of this drug usage and trafficking have on the society and what are the repercussions?