Whether it is LSD, ephedrine, cocaine, ketamine or ecstasy, party drugs are easily available in the capital, smuggled into the city right under the nose of a lax police, who say detection is next to impossible.
The death of NRI Anmol Sarna has put the spotlight back on the easy availability of party drugs in the capital. The absence of a separate narcotics unit, no mechanism to detect drugs and worries far bigger than busting a party have, combined with several other factors, crippled the Delhi Police’s fight against smuggling of drugs into the capital.
NO NARCOTICS DEPT
Till late 2008, the Delhi Police had a separate Narcotics department, headed by a DCP-rank officer. More than a hundred officers worked in the department, dealing only with NDPS (narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances) cases. The unit was disbanded after allegations of corruption and extortion surfaced against its officers, who were asked to report to the Crime Branch henceforth. In hindsight, police officers feel it wasn’t a good move as the department played a key role in checking the smuggling of drugs into the city.
While the use of party drugs such as LSD, ephedrine, cocaine, ketamine and methaqualone appears to be on the rise in the city, police admit there is no mechanism to detect these drugs. Baggage scanners and metal detectors at the airport cannot detect their presence, say police, who primarily depend on tip-offs. The drugs, which usually come in powdered form, are sneaked in inside greeting cards, books, talcum powder jars and toys, police say, making detection difficult.
LSD, which police say can be easily bought from ‘good contacts’ in South Delhi malls, is the most difficult to detect. The most common method used by smugglers to sneak in LSD into the country is by soaking a small strip of paper in LSD. In the Anmol case, police say LSD was allegedly smuggled from China.
It maybe a textbook sent from abroad but, once it reaches drug-peddlers in the capital, the book is shredded into hundreds of paper strips — each strip measuring no more than a bookmark is sold for thousands of rupees.
Party drugs are synthetic