India, Sri Lanka to firm up plan to combat drug crimes; bilateral meet in Delhi

India and Sri Lanka have decided to enhance mutual cooperation to combat drug crimes as a two-day bilateral meeting of anti-narcotics agencies of the two countries began here today. A delegation of Sri Lankas Police Narcotics Bureau, led by its Deputy Inspector General Sanjeewa Medawat, has arrived in the national capital to hold talks with their Indian counterparts, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). The NCB delegation is led by its Director General Abhay. During the meeting, both sides will discuss issues of mutual interests including trends in illicit trafficking of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances, sharing operational intelligence on trafficking of heroin, psychotropic substances, precursors and trans-national drug syndicates. The two agencies will also explore the feasibility to have controlled delivery operations (letting drug couriers carry out their operation under surveillance to catch them red handed), status of arrested persons and sharing of best practices, an NCB official said. Controlled delivery operations will help the two countries in cracking down on criminal syndicates in a big way as it is a time-tested method to get success in drug crimes, the official said. This is the 3rd bilateral meeting between the two countries as part of 2013 India-Sri Lanka agreement on cooperation to combat terrorism and illicit drug trafficking. The two-day meeting will end tomorrow. As per data, 6 Sri Lankan nationals were arrested by Indian agencies during the last year for drug-related crimes while about 96kg of contraband like heroin, ganja, hashish and cocaine was seized during the same period.