Watchdog turns Perpetrator

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NCB scandal: Seized drugs disappear from maal-khana

By Paojel Chaoba and Dnbir
IMPHAL, January 30: In what could be said as a case of NCB officials conducting criminal activity and having nexus with drug lords, a large quantity of drugs seized by the Narcotic Control Bureau, Manipur branch has disappeared from the storage room recently. In this regard, the present superintendent, KV Robinson Gangte has lodged a complaint to Imphal Police Station.

The complaint was lodged on December 6, 2013. Police has received the complaint and registered an FIR bearing number 338(12) 2013 IPS under section 409 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 409 of the IPC deals with breach of trust by a public servant and those convicted can be awarded a lifetime imprisonment.

The investigating officer, a sub-inspector of the Imphal Police Station, told IFP that the case is still being investigated but the detailed list of the missing drugs is yet to be furnished from the NCB side.

The Narcotic Control Bureau was created in 1986 to enable the full implementation of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act,1985 and fight its violation through the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act,1988.

Officers in this organization are drawn from the Indian Revenue Service and Indian Police Service.

Its main purpose is to fight drug trafficking across the country and it works in close cooperation with the Police, Central Bureau of Investigation, Customs and Central Excise and other Indian intelligence and law enforcement agencies at both national and state level.

Drugs trafficking is a lucrative trade and smuggling is an activity even perpetrated by security personnel of both the state and para-military forces in Manipur that shares a porous border with Myanmar. The case of Colonel Ajay Choudhary posted at Leimakhong caught at Pallel with a huge consignment of drugs is still  afresh. The NCB is mandated to track down points where smuggling activities take place with foreign or domestic traffickers.

The question of how drugs can disappear from such an authorised watchdog  was asked to concerned officers of the Imphal Police Station and NCB. Yet, both authorities remain tight lipped and refuse to  divulge any details.

 Various agencies including Narcotics and Affairs of Border, Customs and sanctioned special teams like the disbanded Special Intelligence Unit have seized huge amounts of contraband in the past. But, the stock position and disposal is not being made available to the media. However,  a reliable source informed that the disposal of contraband is to be held in the month of February. The NCB drugs went missing during the tenure of former superintendent, RK Ibungosana Singh who is presently the public relation officer of NCB, Shillong and the FIR is registered against him, according to sources. The present superintendent while taking over charge took stock of the seized drugs, but there was a difference in the stock and ledger. IFP on meeting Robinson Gangte at the office located at Raigailong said that the regional unit branch of Manipur is not authorised to comment to the media. The national headquarters located at Delhi has the authority to do so, he said.

However, he did not give the number of the Delhi NCB authority when asked but assured of texting a telephone number to this reporter.

The number is still not received till the filing of this report.

It may be mentioned that banned drugs include Ganja, Heroin, Opium, Ephedrine Hydrocloride and these are the lucrative items of smuggling in Manipur. Such items are also supposed to be at the storage room of the NCB and the missing items are assumed to be worth crores of Rupees in the International market.

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