The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) which has been cracking down against drugs such as Cocaine and LSD has now launched a probe into peddlers trafficking Codeine-based syrups through children and terminally ill persons.
Codeine is also an opiate and used in reducing pain. The medicine containing it can be bought against a prescription. “The investigations have revealed that the cough syrup is abused by children in slums and terminally ill persons. The peddlers also encourage them to further peddle the drugs in exchange of more bottles of the syrup,” said a senior NCB officer while detailing the rampant sale of such syrup.
This week, the agency has seized syrup bottles weighing 43 kilograms. “It’s a big business,” the officer said. “In Mumbai, slum children in areas like Dharavi, Kurla and Govandi are sold such syrups which cost around Rs 150 per bottle. The peddlers target those who cannot afford drugs such as MD. As it is cheap, many children are abusing it,” The agency probe has revealed the syrup is procured from Himachal Pradesh. “Some factories are diverting the syrup,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, the agency on Wednesday detained a supplier who was preparing for his wedding. The groom and his family in Govandi were busy in pre marriage rituals when he was caught. The action was initiated after NCB intercepted two persons namely Siraj Ahmed and Mohamed Saddam from Dharavi, and seized 23.9 kgs of Codeine based cough syrup on Monday. “We have made three arrests till now,” the officer added. NCB stated that the said syrup “WELCYREX” contains codeine phosphate which is the reason it is being abused. The agency has now launched a full-fledged probe to detect bulk supply chains or source of such codeine-based cough syrups.