Coast Guard organises seminar on sea-borne smuggling

4:53 PM, Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

indian-coast-guardMangaluru : Indian Coast Guard, Karnataka, held a seminar on tasking against sea-borne smuggling and narcotics control onboard its state-of-art Offshore Patrol Vessel, ICGS Shore, on Sunday.

The seminar, organised on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, included presentations on topics related to drug abuse and sea-borne smuggling and discussions about drug menace, ill-effects on society – especially children and teenagers – and the way ahead for curbing the menace.

Shreekumar Menon, IRS (retired), who had headed the National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN), Faridabad, as its director-general, sensitised the participants about the modus operandi of drug peddlers and strategy for control of drugs.

Sendhil Murugan, Superintendent of Customs, Mangaluru, spoke about drug control and provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.

Coast Guard, Karnataka Commander DIG K R Suresh spoke about the Coast Guard’s operations that foiled designs of anti-national elements to smuggle narcotics/illegal commodities. “Cooperation by enforcement agencies with the Narcotics Control Bureau can thwart the narcotics and drug menace,” said Suresh, who was principal director of operations prior to his current posting ensured ICG confiscated narcotics worth more than Rs 600 crore off the Gujarat coast.

On the sidelines of the seminar, Suresh said, “While our units in Karnataka are always ready to undertake humanitarian operations to save precious lives at sea, we are also committed to foil any act to smuggle narcotics and illegal goods. But, narcotics smuggling from the sea can be thwarted only with alertness and actionable intelligence.”

He also said that the theme of the UN against drug abuse in 2016 is ‘Listen First,’ that is, listening to children and youth.

“Karnataka has a large floating population of students and workforce employed in various fields like IT and allied industries. The multi-cultural society and possibility of smuggling of narcotics pose a challenge to security and law enforcement agencies. The coast of Karnataka is also vulnerable, due to a long coastline of 320 km and proximity to international shipping lane between Lakshadweep and Western Peninsular India,” he added.

The ICG headquarters in New Delhi has an independent directorate of Anti-Smuggling and Narcotics Control (ASNC) which coordinates with Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Customs authorities, Police and other concerned agencies. ASNC also coordinates counter maritime narco-terrorist activities. The directorate’s inputs are provided to various ships and crafts, which are operating at sea, he said, adding that the ICG units in Karnataka are making optimal use of such inputs.

“The presence of the ICG units in Karnataka has been gradually strengthened. Besides ships, the state has two hovercrafts (Air Cushion Vehicles), which can operate along the coast and inside creeks and shallow areas. In near future, an Air Enclave will also be started at Mangaluru. All the ships and crafts undertake security patrol for the safety of people of the coastal state of Karnataka,” he added.

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