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AIZAWL: Mizoram, which shares a 404km unfenced border with Myanmar and is in the neighbourhood of the dreaded Golden Triangle, serves as a two-way route for cross-border drug trade based in Myanmar.
While pseudo-ephedrine tablets are being smuggled into Myanmar where they are manufactured into methamphetamine in clandestine laboratories mostly run by militants, heroin is being shipped from the neighbouring country.
Mizoram excise & narcotics department's Anti Narcotics Squad seized more than 2.53 lakh tablets of Pseudo-ephedrine in Aizawl on Saturday and arrested two persons in this connection.
Peter Zohmingthanga, spokesperson of the department said that the seized Pseudo-ephedrine was brought from neighbouring Assam's Silchar city to be smuggled to Myanmar where it was intended to be used as precursor for clandestine manufacture of the Methamphetamine.
"The seized pseudo-ephedrine weighing 23.4 kg was to be sold at Rs 45.67 lakh on the Myanmar border," he said.
The two accused – Lalbiakzuala, 38, and Lalliana, 42, both residents of Aizawl were booked under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
Last week, the special narcotics team of Mizoram police seized 42,000 tablets of "party-drug" methamphetamine worth Rs 42 lakhs from a hotel in the state capital Aizawl. Two persons, including a Myanmar national, were arrested.
The meth factories in Myanmar are partly fuelled by pseudoephedrine smuggled out from India, mainly through the Northeast.
"Pseudoephedrine is bought from other parts of India and smuggled out to Myanmar through our state, which is then used to make methamphetamine and other derivatives which is smuggled across the world," said an excise and narcotics department official.
Excise seized 670 tablets of meth in 2001, 971 in 2002 and 287 in 2011. The first seizure of meth was way back in the late nineties, they said.
Another official said that one pill of meth is sold for Rs 150 in Tiau, a town in Myanmar close to the border, and for Rs 350 each in the interiors of the state.
Sources in the Young Mizo Association (YMA), a voluntary organisation actively involved in the anti-drug fight, said peddlers have only just begun flooding the streets with meth pills and sometimes give it for free to addicts as trial doses.
Seizure of pseudoephedrine, from which meth is manufactured, began in Mizoram in 2011. State excise & narcotics department sources said altogether 1,11,50,130 tablets of the drug were seized in 2011. The haul increased in the following two years.
Meanwhile, there is a surge in heroin use in Mizoram after the discontinuation of manufacturing of most commonly abused drugs in Mizoram – spasmo-proxyvon and parvon spas.
The Supply Reduction Service (SRS), anti drug-squad of the YMA, since it revived operation on April 11 this year, has seized as many as 38 "hawng", 222 "cans" and two "chhin sen" of heroin till May 25.
The largest unit 'hawng' makes up between 15-17 grams, and is sold for about Rs 50,000. 'Can' equals a penicillin vial while chhin sen makes up for about one or two shots of heroin. Heroin and other drugs like alprazolam, ganja, etc are worth Rs 29,53,000.
The excise & narcotics department has also seized huge quantity of heroin this year.