●World Drug Report 2020: by ‘UNODC’
•It has highlighted the possible consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on Illegal Drug Production, Supply and Consumption
•According to it, due to economic hardship, people may resort to illicit activities linked to drugs to make a living.
•The report further, revealed that the measures taken by governments to counter the pandemic inevitably had double-edged consequences on large-scale drug supply.
•The report also Indicated that the lockdown is increasing demand for cannabis, given that its production often takes place near consumer markets and traffickers.
•Drug trafficking by air is likely to be completely disrupted by the restrictions on air travel. There are signs of increased use of maritime routes.
•According to a report India is one of the major hubs of illicit drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.
•India is in the middle of two major illicit opium production regions in the world, the Golden Crescent (Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan) in the west and the Golden Triangle (South-East Asia) in the east.
•The borders are porous and difficult to control in the lower Mekong region so cross-border movements in many places are not significantly hindered by Covid-19 measures.
•Evolving Ways of Trafficking: The methods of containerised trafficking, couriers and body-packing have reduced due to shutting down of borders and trade. However, dealers might come up with other ways limiting the impact of reduced trade.
Limited Control: There is limited government control in the Golden Triangle, trafficking would continue at high volumes.
•Unaffected Supply: The supply of precursor chemicals is not likely to be disrupted because major organised crime groups source chemicals through direct diversion from industry and not diversion from illicit overseas trade channels