An exclusive report by Dr G Shreekumar Menon, IRS, (Rtd) published by Chanakya Forum titled “Drugs and Guns Invade Lakshadweep” points to the fact that China now has a controlling stake in the Hambantota Port Project, and the Colombo Port City special economic zone (SEZ). According to Dr. Menon, the “threatening new Chinese presence” is barely 290 km from the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula – Kanya Kumari, and we hear the news of this massive drugs and guns trafficking into Lakshadweep.
Dr Menon has raised the alarm by underscoring that in this backdrop, the Government of India and the Union Ministry of Defence should sit straight and stay fully alert about the potential threat to India’s security – especially after the Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft intercepted a Sri Lankan vessel Akarsha Duwa with six crew off Minicoy Island on March 5, 2021. Upon questioning, the crew confessed to carrying 200 kg high grade Heroin and 60 kg of Hashish, which was jettisoned in the sea on sighting the Coast Guard ships.
The report goes on to add: “On March 18th 2021, the Coast Guard, had intercepted three vessels on suspicion, and after rummaging, recovered drugs and guns from one of the vessels. The value of the drugs has been estimated at Rs.3000 crores. Five AK 47 rifles with 1000 live rounds were also seized”.
Further, the report published by Chanakya Forum focuses attention on the interception by the Indian Coast Guard in November 2020 of a Sri Lankan boat and recovery of narcotic drugs and guns worth about Rs.1000/ crores, near Tuticorin. 99 packets of Heroin, 20 boxes of synthetic drugs, a Thuraya set and five 9mm pistols were recovered.
Dr G Shreekumar Menon, IRS, (Rtd) PhD (Narcotics) is Former Director General, National Academy of Customs Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, & Multi-Disciplinary School Of Economic Intelligence India, Fellow, James Martin Center For Non Proliferation Studies, USA. Fellow, Centre for International Trade & Security, University of Georgia, USA , Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, U.S.A., AOTS Scholar, Japan.