Palakkad: Even though Kerala has seen an upsurge in narcotics cases, the increased involvement of women, especially female students aged 22 to 25, has become a matter of concern.
Most of the women arrested were part of gangs selling MDMA, a psychoactive drug known as Ecstasy or Molly in party circles, hash oil and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) patches.
The Narcotics Control Bureau and the Intelligence Wing of the Excise Enforcement Wing found that the majority of women handled MDMA.
The Excise had recently argued in the High Court that there had been an increase in the involvement of women in drug smuggling. The increase in their number was noticed after the outbreak of COVID-19.
Although the women were involved in ganja smuggling, they were mostly from out of state and from poor financial backgrounds. However, students pursuing vocational courses and those working in the IT sector have found themselves in racketeering over the past three years.
Incidentally, the gangs are exploiting their addiction to mostly MDMA and LSD patches and turning them into carriers.
Medicines are available in different forms. Those in the form of mascara could be smuggled “safely” into educational institutions.
One of the three women arrested in the recent Kakkanad drug case was a teacher. It was discovered that she was selling MDMA at retail, in addition to coordinating with various gangs.
As many as 18 young women have been arrested in narcotics cases over the past two years, and the 22-year-old woman from Thiruvananthapuram, arrested at Vandiperiyar in Idukki, was the latest in a string of women arrested so far in drug-related cases. case.
Women as cover
Survey agencies are watching vehicles crossing into Kerala via Walayar from Bengaluru with suspicion. There are also “couples”, mostly college students, who travel around the state on two-wheelers.
Of the 23 two-wheelers inspected in the past six months, MDMA was found in 14. The banned substances were found hidden in bags or the underwear of women on freaken backpacks.
One of the captured runners had two grams of the banned substance in his wallet.
Cases of families traveling together in cars involved in peddling are also not uncommon. This forced the authorities to tighten vehicle controls.
According to information received by polling agencies, most women have become accustomed to the substance provided by classmates or employees of their colleges. Gradually they become addicted and carry the drug for their use while visiting Kerala.
Most of the vehicles found carrying narcotic substances had three “monsters” and an accompanying woman. Inspection of their social media accounts revealed their links to nationals of African countries.
How female carriers hide things
Agencies have noticed an increase in the number of women hiding drugs on their person. Often concealment of MDMA and tampons in private parts hinders inspection and confiscation. Five grams of the banned substance were found hidden in the underwear of a third year MBBS student from Kollam who was arrested at Chavadi in Coimbatore.
His family responded with profanity when told of the arrest, investigators said. They had unshakeable faith in their daughter. His father and his brother, arrived at the station, were inconsolable when they realized the facts.
When asked, the young woman said a friend offered her the substance two years ago to relieve the pressure of long study hours, which often stretched late into the night. After using it several times, she became addicted to it and became a courier to obtain the substance for her own use.
Further investigation into the Kakkanad drug case in which the teacher was arrested also revealed the roles of three other women. They were also arrested.
The point of no return
As many as 90% of the women arrested in drug cases were attending professional courses, while the rest, except two, were graduate students from Karnataka. A woman arrested near Thevara Bridge in Kochi was an MBA student in her final semester. She was arrested trying to sell the “stuff” given to her by two other people who had brought it from Bangalore on a bicycle.
She then told investigators that she first used the substance during her second semester. Once addicted, she turned into a courier to raise funds to buy the substance. She received the substance from Bengaluru after she could not find it in Kerala during her Christmas vacation.
Majority of those arrested so far, including men, are BTech, MCA, MBBS, MBA students.
They find solace in drugs to overcome pressure, fear of exams and homesickness. Once addicted, they reach the point of no return.
Narcotics Control Bureau officers said sexual abuse of drug addicts is common.
The dark affair
Women rarely engage in drug trafficking alone. Most of them transact on the darknet where identities are protected. Protection helps them evade arrest.
The darknet has several links to buy drugs, and cryptocurrencies are often used in transactions. There are even foreign “agencies” willing to ship the “stuff” in small quantities.
Young men on bicycles act as pilots and escorts for women carrying the banned substance. The woman will be riding on the second bike. The attendant will provide the destination details to the man accompanying the woman.
Officials said most of the women arrested are experts in “Darknet Deals”. “For sale: Two sets of tables and chairs.” Darknet advertising doesn’t need to help buy furniture. It’s a code for drug trafficking. The codes change depending on the person and the network. Most addicts know these codes.
A woman looking for mascara is above all an addict looking for her dose. These attractive names given to drugs are familiar even to schoolchildren.
The Narcotics Control Bureau received reports that large amounts of drugs were smuggled into Kerala through the darknet ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations. The network was based in Kochi.
About 95% of the women arrested were drug addicts who became carriers. There have been cases where colleges have expelled students after embezzling money sent from home for educational purposes to purchase drugs.
While the LSD stamp is priced at Rs 2,000 in Bengaluru, it costs Rs 5,000 in Kerala. Addicts who cannot afford them become carriers. Carrying MDMA is not as risky as carrying ganja. MDMA could be transported in small quantities.
Karnataka police are not active in drug hunting, indirectly helping peddlers. After the Narcotics Control Bureau started cracking the whip, several Bengaluru-based MDMA gangs moved their base to Chennai, according to reports.
Abyss of endless sorrow
Experts have warned students never to use drugs even if friends insist on trying it once. Once addicted, it will be difficult to clean up. Synthetic drugs do nothing to help the user but push the addict into an abyss of endless grief. Once addicted, the user will have to face the addiction alone without even the company of the friend who introduced him to the dark world of narcotics.