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Mizoram shares international borders with Thailand, Myanmar and Laos where drug smuggling is a common menace
Mizoram shares international borders with Thailand, Myanmar and Laos where drug smuggling is a common menace|Representational image
MIZORAM

Mizoram: 2 sentenced to 20 yrs in jail for possessing heroin

Special court also slaps Rs 1 lakh fine on each of two accused, including a Myanmarese national, failing which they would undergo additional 5 months of imprisonment

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: A special court in Mizoram’s Champhai district sentenced two men, including a Myanmarese national, to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment for possessing heroin, a court official said on Friday.

The official said that special judge R Vanlalena convicted 30-year-old Vansuihmunga, a resident of Falam in Myanmar, and Lalengliana, 29, a resident of Aizawl, for smuggling heroin from Myanmar.

According the judgment announced on Thursday, the convicts were sentenced to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment, he said.

The special court also slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on them, failing which they would undergo additional five months of imprisonment.

The drug peddlers were arrested from Dungtlang village in Champhai district bordering Myanmar on August 19, 2017. In that year, Vansuihmunga smuggled substantial amount of heroin from Falam and hid the contraband in the jungle near Melbuk village.

They were riding on a motor bike to Aizawl when police intercepted them at Dungtlang village and seized 439 gm of heroin from them. They were booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985.

Chief minister Zoramthanga had earlier sought the Centre’s help to fight the menace of drug abuse in the state.

In his meeting with union tribal affairs minister Arjun Munda on August 21, Zoramthanga said that massive efforts have to be made to curb the growing abuse and smuggling of drugs in the state since it is located on the international border and near the Golden Triangle (Thailand, Myanmar, Loas), which is famous for drug smuggling.

Mizoram has been grappled with drugs abuse due to increase supply from neighbouring Myanmar.

Officials of state excise and narcotics department said that at least 30 people, including eight women died due to drug abuse since January this year. Last year, 46 people, including 10 women, died due to drugs, they said.

The state government as well as Young Mizo Association (YMA), the largest civil body in Mizoram, are making massive efforts to curb the menace of drugs in the state.