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India witnesses 300 pc increase in seizure of Heroin in last 5 years: NCB DG

New Delhi - In the last five years, India has witnessed an exponential increase in the seizure of Heroin from 2,146 kg in 2017 to 7,282 kg in 2021 which is approximately 300 per cent increase, said Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Director-General SN Pradhan on Tuesday. The NCB chief made the announcement while inaugurating a 'Darkathon 2022'- a three-phased event that will conclude on April 22. The event is aimed at finding out solutions to counter drug trafficking through the darknet. Stressing upon this fact by highlighting the UNODC World Drug Report 2021 which says that 94 per cent of the sales in darknet markets are related to drugs, Pradhan mentioned the changing drug trafficking and abuse scenario. The NCB Director General informed that "there has been a rise in drug trafficking through maritime route and Darknet", and further said that the "effective enforcement activities have resulted in the enhanced seizures of all major drugs in the recent years". "In the last five years, India has witnessed an exponential increase in the seizure of Heroin from 2,146 kg in 2017 to 7,282 kg in 2021 which is approximately 300 per cent increase. Similarly, there is an increase of 172 per cent in the seizure of Opium (from 2,551 kg in 2017 to 4,386 kg in 2021) and 191 per cent increase in the seizure of Cannabis (from 3,52,539 kg in 2017 to 6,75,631 kg in 2021)," said Pradhan while inaugurating 'Darkathon 2022'. 'Darkathon 2022' is being organized by the NCB in three phases. The event started today and it will be concluding on April 22 to find solutions to counter drug trafficking through the darknet. The event is being organized as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recognized this challenge during one of the reviews of NCB and directed to find the solution to this problem of drug trafficking through the darknet market by organizing a hackathon primarily involving youth and technical students of the country. Acting on these instructions, the NCB is organizing the hackathon named 'Darkathon 2022'. Pradhan inaugurated the 'Darkathon 2022' at the auditorium of Central Water Commission (CWC) in RK Puram, New Delhi in the presence of special guests Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Rajesh Pant, National Cyber Security Coordinator, Government of India. The problem stated in the Darkathon 2022 are crawling of the dark web to identify and catalogue active and genuine darknet markets selling drugs (automatically adding new markets and dropping inactive and taken down markets), crawling of darknet markets to identify drug traffickers on the darknet based in India and the drugs they offer for sale and digital footprinting of active drug traffickers on darknet based in India. The registration for Darkathon-2022 started from Tuesday soon after its inauguration and it shall close on March 31 followed by evaluation and shortlisting of teams and participants between April 14 to April 16. The grand finale is scheduled for April 22 followed by an award ceremony. Registration for the hackathon can be done at https://ncb.cyberchallenge.in The first prize for the winners will be Rs 2.50 lakh followed by Rs 2 lakh for the second prize winner and Rs 1.50 lakh for the third prize winner. The consolation prize for the fourth and fifth place will be Rs 25,000 each. The NCB chief has appealed to everyone, particularly students and technical experts to participate in the 'Darkathon 2022' to test their skills and to help the country in finding a solution for the challenges that emerged due to misuse of technology. Cybercrimes have permeated almost every facet of society and are growing in volume, velocity and sophistication with each passing day, posing challenges to the best efforts of law enforcement agencies in India and across the world. The anonymity offered by dark web has drawn criminals in all garbs to flock to it for aiding and abetting their crimes. Darknet markets offering illegal substances and services to people have emerged as one of the major challenges to law enforcement across the globe. Drugs are the most widely offered illegal substance in all of the darknet markets.

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