Current Affairs

Foreign drug traffickers in Nepal getting higher in numbers

Gajendra Basnet

Kathmandu, 29 May – On 25 May four people got arrested with more than two kilograms of cocaine. Three among the arrested were foreigners. On March 27 two foreign nationals got arrested with two kilograms and 722 grams of cocaine.

These are just two examples. Actually, many foreigners have been found trafficking drugs in Nepal. As per Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) statistics more than 12 thousand people have been arrested across the country in the last four and half years for trafficking drugs. Numbers show that 649 among the nabbed are foreigners.

NCB Chief DIG Jaya Bahadur Chand points out that narcotic drug consumption is the biggest problem facing the country. Chand says, “Drug use in Nepal has taken the form of a disaster.”

So far events have shown that expensive drugs like heroin and brown sugar are trafficked through Nepal to other countries and not consumed here. But narcotic drugs are used in the country.

Police statistics shows that there are more than 150 thousand substance abusers in the country. More than 36 thousand of them are in Kathmandu Valley only. Most of these ‘junkies’ use narcotic drugs. This is proved by the fact that the police have been seizing 80 thousand ampoules of ‘diazepam’ and ‘buprenorphine’ each year.

DIG Chand says that narcotic drugs are not produced in Nepal. All those drugs come to country from India. Anti-narcotic experts say that Indian dealers bring drugs to the Nepal border and Nepali dealers distribute them in different localities. These ‘mules’ conceal drugs in petrol tankers, lease vehicles and other means of transportation to escape police dragnet.


Narcotic drugs are used as medicines as well. Since they can be used with doctor’s prescription, medicine sellers have been bringing them to Nepal legally. But these imports are in small numbers. The police say that many pharmacies take advantage of this allowance to bring those drugs in huge numbers. They sell these drugs without doctor’s prescription in arbitrary prices.

Central Bureau of Statistics has painted a worrying picture of drug users in Nepal. The latest data shows that more than 36 thousand drug users are in Kathmandu Valley only. Around 80 percent of such users are youths from 18 to 25 years.

According to NCB, two types of drugs are produced in Nepal: ganja and opium. Opium is produced in Bara, Parsa and Makwanpur districts, says NCB Chief Chand. Ganja is produced in more than six districts including Bhojpur and Sankhuwasabha. Experts say that these two drugs are produced in Nepal to meet the growing demand in India and China.

Foreign tourists started coming in numbers after Nepal opened tourism in 1960s. Hippies started coming to Nepal during the same period. Narcotics Analyst Tripathi said, “Hippies ushered in drug trade and use here.” The law was lax at the time and drugs freely entered in the country.

Things had, however, turned ugly in 1970s. National daily Gorkhapatra used to publish tender on drugs around 1968. Hoarding boards openly advertised ganja and marijuana joints. This bloomed into a dangerous trend, affecting the whole country.

Curbing drug use has not seen any significant result. Nepal Police has formed a bureau for drug control but there is no tangible output yet. One of the causes is police investigation not being technologically updated. The state’s immediate attention should be focused on this dangerous problem.