[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Meant for foreign clients, these ‘packaged products’ are smuggled outside India[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mumbai, September 26:[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Philip Kotler, the renowned marketing guru, will be shocked to know that his marketing mix theory is being practiced by drug dealers from Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh who are ‘‘packaging’’ the narcotic substance to fetch higher prices in the international market. According to the officials at the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Mumbai, branded drug packages flood the city between October and February when foreign tourists come calling.
‘‘It is done to attract foreign clients after which they are smuggled to other countries. Most of the times the carrier are foreign tourists, who pick up the hashish packs from Mumbai and smuggle it outside for making fast bucks,’’ said a source.
The police say most of these tourists escape the intelligence as they are first timers. Despite this, NCB records show that at least 20 to 25 tourists are nabbed with drugs every year between October and February.
‘‘The drug packages, mainly hashish (charas), are smuggled to Isarel, Russia and South American countries. The packaged drugs fetch at least $ 500 more than the loose drugs for every two kg,’’ said a senior official, adding that Cobra, Manala Cream, Lantern and Cream are the famous brands in the market.
‘‘Though these brands are not owned by any particular company, the peddlers have developed uniform and consistent pattern and design for each package,’’ said another officer at NCB.
According to the officials, some of the local drug peddlers have also started selling the packaged drugs but they are still to confirm it.
Meanwhile, it has also been observed that some tourists bring chemical drugs like ecstacy, LSD and ice to India and take away hashish and cocaine. The tourist is merely to smuggle the drugs for which he is paid a hefty amount.
The drugs are first smuggled to Gujarat from Kashmir and HP, from where they are further smuggled to western region. ‘‘The apple boxes are the cover consignment for charas from Kashmir and HP to Gujarat. While from there the drugs are further forwarded, either in small cars or through individuals who travel in trains,’’ said a source.