A dangerous high: Bolivia's unwelcome black cocaine

By Sanket Pathak

New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS): For the first time in the country, the Narcotics Control Bureau recently seized 3.2 black cocaine valued at Rs 13 crore in the international market and arrested a Bolivian woman in this connection.

What is black cocaine and why is it challenging for the security agency to detect it?

Black cocaine is a dangerous drug which is a mixture of regular cocaine and other chemicals. It is also known as cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base.

As per sources, it is made by mixing coal, cobalt and activated carbon and iron salt due to which its colour turns black. It comes under a rare and illegal category.

It is very difficult to detect black cocaine as the chemical with which it is prepared neutralises its smell and as it is black in colour, it looks like coal.

Mumbai NCB Zonal director Amit Ghawate said that as it is a new type of drug, black cocaine is easy to sell in the market. Even sniffer dogs cannot detect it as it does not have any smell.

Smugglers are even using festivals and parties to lure new customers and sell black cocaine.

Senior journalist and writer Vivek Agarwal told IANS that South America is the biggest producer of cocaine from where international drug syndicates operate. Countries like Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia are the main sources of cocaine. In these countries, black cocaine is made and then via Kenya and Ethiopia, it is smuggled into India. Cocaine is being smuggled in India via many routes but mainly from sea and air.

According to information, once black cocaine is smuggled, its base is extracted by chemical treatment and then is supplied in Mumbai, Goa and Delhi. Cocaine is said to be a rich man's drug as it is expensive than other drugs.

Senior doctor Amit Kumar told IANS that cocaine is very harmful for humans as it increases blood flow creating a pressure on heart and mind which may lead to heart-attack. Moreover, its overdose can lead to a person's death.

In the black cocaine case that surfaced in Mumbai, the NCB has also arrested a Nigerian man from Goa at the instance of the Bolivian woman. It is believed that they were having links with international drug syndicates and they made a network of drug peddlers in many states of India. Investigation was on.



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Title: A dangerous high: Bolivia's unwelcome black cocaine

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