The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has begun invoking a rarely used stringent law for preventive detention of repeat offenders in drug-related crime following apprehension of a Nigerian national in Bengaluru, a senior official said on Monday.
The foreigner, involved in at least three cases of cocaine trafficking, was detained by the sleuths of the federal anti-narcotics agency on Saturday and is the first case of detention in the country under the Prevention of Illicit Traffick in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (PIT-NDPS) Act over a period of five years.
Under this 1988 law, the NCB can detain a repeat or habitual drug crime offender for an initial period of 45 days after which the accused has to be produced before an advisory panel that comprises three high court-judges.
If the advisory board approves the NCB action, the accused can be kept in preventive detention up to an year to ensure that he does not indulge in narcotics crime and if the board does not approve the action, the detenu has to be released immediately.
During this detention period, the accused cannot get bail or any relief that can set them free.
"Kenneth Jideofur, a Nigerain man, has been detained under the PIT-NDPS by the agency in Bengaluru. He had arrived in India on a medical visa in 2018 and subsequently his involvement was found in three cases of drug trafficking," NCB Deputy Director General (operations) Rajesh Nandan Srivastava told PTI.
This detention is the first case of successful implementation of the legal framework provided under the PIT-NDPS to curb drug crime cases, the officer said.
Officials in the agency said the NCB will now increasingly use the law to ensure effective check on drug crimes, criminals and narcotic syndicates operating in various parts of the country.
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