Unique number to control drug pilferage

Unique number to control drug pilferage

In a novel method to stop pilferage of controlled narcotic drugs, the government has decided to issue a Unique Registration Number (URN), on the lines of “Aadhaar”, to persons engaged in the business and operations of these drugs.

The URN will be issued by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which is the national agency tasked to curb the menace of illicit drugs and enforce stringent anti-narcotics laws in the country. The NCB functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

“The URN will be attached and processed through an online database which will bring on board all agencies and people dealing with controlled drugs in the country,” a senior official said.

Under the new directives issued by the government early this year with respect to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, it has been made obligatory for persons engaged in manufacture, trade and commerce, distribution, possession, sale, purchase, storage and consumption of scheduled A controlled substances to register themselves with the NCB which will subsequently issue an URN on the basis of application made by such an entity.

The scheduled A drug chemicals are–Acetic  Anhydride, Anthranilic Acid, n-acetyl Anthranilic Acid, Ephedrine and Pseudo ephedrine which act as vital precursors in the manufacture of a host of drugs which are smuggled and pilfered for abuse in rave parties and drug dens with special focus to the young crowd and student population.

A number of legal uses of these drugs is made in the field of patient medicine and preparation of pharmacy drugs and hence it is essential to stop their leakage into the blackmarket of drugs abuse, the sources said.

The NCB, after the operationalisation of this online classified portal, will have a valuable database about the presence of these commercially banned chemicals and their activity across the length and breadth of the country.

“It will also give the NCB sleuths the much needed ‘Know Your Customer’ about people dealing with such high-value and sensitive drugs and integrate the systems with other law enforcement agencies mandated to control the drug menace and regulate narcotics laws in the country,” the sources said.

The anti-narcotics agency will issue the URN after all vital details, authorisations and certifications about the drug dealer and his consignment are furnished to the department in a pre-set format which will be free of cost to upload at the interactive portal which is scheduled to be operational by this year-end.

The start of the portal and the issuance of the URN  will also reduce the human interface between anti-narcotics sleuths and traders thereby cutting down on issues of delays and allegation of corrupt practices involved in this business, they said.