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What is Operation Gear Box?

Focus: GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Why in News?

Recently, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) launched operation ‘Gear Box’ to stop heroin smuggling, seizes 39.5 kg of contraband from Kolkata port.

  • The heroin was examined and seized under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

What is Operation Gear Box?

  • Operation Gear Box is conducted to detect the hidden drugs in the gear boxes.
  • The gears from old and used gearboxes were removed after opening them and plastic packets containing the narcotic substance were placed in the created cavity and the gearboxes were refitted to avoid detection.
  • The drug syndicate has used this unique modus operandi to conceal heroin.
  • These packets were shipped concealing inside this metal scrap with other metal scrap so that it would go unnoticed by the authorities.

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, (NDPS)

  • The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, commonly referred to as the NDPS Act prohibits a person the production/manufacturing/cultivation, possession, sale, purchasing, transport, storage, and/or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
  • India had no legislation regarding narcotics until 1985.
  • The Act is designed to fulfill India’s treaty obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
  • The Narcotics Control Bureau is a statutory body that was set up under the act with effect from 1986.

Measures taken by the government

  1. Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD): Government had constituted Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD), the mechanism under Director General (DG), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), in order to have effective coordination among all the drug law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders, and also to provide a common platform for discussions on drug-trafficking related issues.
  2. National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse: The government has constituted a fund called “National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse” to meet the expenditure incurred in connection with combating illicit traffic in Narcotic Drugs; rehabilitating addicts, and educating the public against drug abuse, etc.
  3. Seizure Information Management System (SIMS): SIMS is a step taken towards digitization of pan-India drug seizure data in 2019 for all the drug law enforcement agencies under the mandate of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was provided with the funds for developing SIMS which will create a complete online database of drug offences and offenders.

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