India is one of the major hubs of illicit drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.
The latest report released by United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says that while the global trend of purchasing drugs over the internet, particularly on darknet trading platforms using cryptocurrencies has already spread across South Asia, it is particularly rampant in India.
One recent study identified some online vendors over the darknet who appear to be operating from South Asia. According to a report compiled by International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), ‘The study identified more than 1,000 drug listings from India published across 50 online crypto-market platforms. In 2017, authorities in India dismantled two illicit Internet pharmacies, seizing close to 130,000 tablets containing psychotropic substances. Fifteen people were arrested in the process’. It should be noted that up to 9600 kg of Acetic Anhydride, a pre-cursor to heroin, was seized from Delhi alone, and a trail led up to business-to-business (B2B) companies which were trading in such pre-cursors online.