Inside the world of drug trafficking in Kiphire

A panoramic view of Kiphire town. (File photo)

A panoramic view of Kiphire town. (File photo)

•    Former trafficker reveals drug network chain
•    Says most narcotics supplied from Dimapur

P Achumse Yingbithongru
Kiphire | May 17 

In a startling revelation, a former drug trafficker and user has exposed the intricate network of drug supply into Kiphire district. 

The individual, opting to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, also disclosed crucial information on the operational dynamics of the illicit trade, including the number of active traffickers and users, and the impact of the recent law enforcement actions.

The network
The former trafficker, who was involved in the drug trade for several years, dealing mostly in procuring and selling Sunflower/Shanflower drug revealed that the primary source of narcotics entering Kiphire is from Dimapur district. Giving a glimpse on how illicit drugs are sourced, he said, major quantity of drugs available in Dimapur is sourced mostly from Manipur, supplied and trafficked from Myanmar. 

Sharing his experience, he said, as a peddler, “We always maintain invisibility while procuring drugs, only sending trusted middlemen to receive the package on our behalf, even going to the extent of keeping our spouse and friends in dark while transporting drugs to prevent security leak and secrecy.”

Without divulging much details in-order to avoid any repercussion, the former trafficker said as per his knowledge there may be around 10-15 drug peddlers /traffickers, 3-5 major suppliers in Kiphire district and around 100-200 youths, couples hooked into sunflower drugs.

Impact of war on drugs
Asked about what impact Nagaland Police’s ‘War on drugs’ has had on drugs business and with the recent arrest of North-East drug kingpin Bahar Uddin by Nagaland police on March 22, the former drug trafficker said this led to reduction in availability of drugs supply but at the same time it also led to increase in price by two fold for few weeks following the arrest.

However, quoting his former mates who are still active users and peddlers, he revealed that soon after surge in the price for few weeks, the network quickly adapted and things have come back to normal, attributing it to stocking of huge quantity of drugs by main suppliers.

He, however, noted that constant pressure by the police on drug traffickers/peddlers is having an effect on drug business and its availability to some extent, suggesting that police should focus on cutting off the main supply chain.

On the steps taken by Kiphire police to combat drug inflow into the district, Superintendent of Police, Kiphire, Chinese Chakhesang informed The Morung Express the law enforcement has been giving priority as per direction from PHQ Kohima to prevent drug inflow into the district by carrying out regular MVCP and random checking. 

He said the SP office Kiphire has also conducted public awareness campaigns on supply reduction in association with the KRIPA Foundation in Kiphire and Pungro to educate public about harm reduction and substance abuse.

On the issue of addiction among the police personnel, Chakhesang said some personnel have been send to rehabilitation center as per PHQ policy to give chance to get clean and reinvent themselves into better policemen. 

Meanwhile, highlighting the crucial role played by Village Guards (VGs) in combating drugs, the SP said VGs plays a vital role in providing information and in assisting the district police in the war against drug.

Call for vigilance 
While there have been no reports of drugs being trafficked into Kiphire from Myanmar, the SP called for vigilance to ensure that the porous border with the neighboring country does not become a drug trafficking highway.  Towards this, the SP urged the public to assist and cooperate with the law enforcing agency while adding, “Without cooperation from all stakeholders, it is like searching for needle in a haystack.”

On the role played by GBs in controlling drugs in Kiphire town, Head GB of Kiphire town, Throngseli highlighted on the standing resolution that whoever peddle/traffic drugs into Kiphire town will be expelled from Kiphire town for a period of10 (ten) years.

He said this has been endorsed by the civil society organizations, 11 wards, village unions and the Naga political groups.

Acting on the resolution, 4 (four) peddlers, who were nabbed in the act in 2021, were expelled from Kiphire. He, however, pointed out that if the peddlers transform themselves, they would be welcomed back into the society as the purpose of the penalty is “not to make them an outcast but to make them understand the consequences of their action and re-integrate them into society.”

‘It’s never worth it’
Narrating his foray into the world of drug trafficking and becoming addicted to it, the former trafficker said he started off under the active encouragement of his friends who were already hooked high on sunflower and as time progressed, to keep up with his unrelenting quench for more drugs, he became a hardcore user and trafficker himself. 

“I was involved in drug trade for several years; dealing mostly in procuring Sunflower from Dimapur and selling it in Kiphire.  It’s a high-risk game but high reward business as well.”

Advising others who are involved in or considering entering into drug trade, the former trafficker said it is never worth it.  “It’s not worth it, money and excitement may seem appealing, but consequences can be devastating for family and children.”