INDIA. Mumbai: The Mumbai Zonal Unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Sunday seized 4,824 commercial quantities of Tramadol tablets weighing 2.613 Kg, at “Professional Courier unit” located at Damji Shamji Industrial Estate, Kurla West in north-central Mumbai on Sunday.
In a follow-up action of the above case, the consigner of the consignment-Mohmed Anas was arrested by NCB Mumbai at Delhi on Monday, for contravention of Sections 8(c) read with Section 21(c), Section 23 (c), 27A, 28 and 29 of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985(NDPS Act). The accused Mohmed Anas is a suspected criminal in four other cases registered with NCB Mumbai. Further investigation is under progress, NCB Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede told the “Transcontinental Times”.
Tramadol is a psychotropic drug that is medically prescribed as a pain killer. It is a schedule ‘H’ drug under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and can only be dispensed under the prescription of a registered medical practitioner. But in the last few years, its abuse as an intoxicating drug grew, and eventually, it was added to the Schedule of psychotropic substances to NDPS Act, 1985 in the year 2018.
Tramadol is an opioid-based pain-relieving drug. It is a commonly prescribed analgesic due to its relatively lower risk of addiction and better safety profile in comparison with other opiates. However, two significant adverse reactions are known to potentially occur with Tramadol—seizures and serotonin syndrome. These two adverse reactions may develop during Tramadol monotherapy but appear much more likely to emerge during misuse/overdose as well as with the co-administration of other drugs, particularly antidepressants. The maximum recommended dose is 400 mg/day (3). Acute overdose may induce miosis, respiratory depression, seizures, hypotonicity, and acidosis.
The drug rackets operate through courier services
Despite restrictions, its abuse and eventually the seizures of Tramadol are continuing throughout the country. For instance, Tramadol tablets and their powder worth Rs 55 crore were seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) from Valsad (Gujarat) DRI in May 2018. In another massive drug haul, 10 lakh Tramadol pills were seized from a chemist in Ludhiana (Punjab) in July 2019. Similarly, two pharmacists and a chemist were arrested in connection with the seizure of 15.20 lakh tablets of Tramadol in Surat(Gujarat) by DRI in July 2020. These drug rackets operate through foreign post offices as well as through private courier services.
Tramadol destined for clandestine markets
As per a report for 2019, by the International Narcotics Control Board, which falls under the
the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in recent years, India has emerged as the center of manufacturing of Tramadol destined for clandestine markets. India is a significant source of trafficked, falsified, substandard, or illicitly manufactured “Tramadol” that is seized worldwide. For example, 87 percent of the Tramadol seized in Ghana in 2017 came from India, the report stated. It also notes that illicit cultivation of cannabis & ATS drugs is a major problem in the country.
The report, however, stated that there has been a difference since April 2018 when India listed Tramadol among its nationally controlled substances under its Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.