Thursday, Feb 28, 2002
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By Sridhar Krishnaswami
The INCB while detailing its case on different aspects of cyber crime is calling on governments to take action with a view to preventing organised crime from continuing to exploit the technological advances as also to consider developing a United Nations Convention on Cyber-crime. "Such a Convention would provide a global classification and definition for high tech and computer related crime and a framework for legislative harmonisation and international cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of cross border crime committed or facilitated by electronic means'',the INCB argues.
Thorough and extensive in its preparation and presentation especially as it deals with different regions of the world the INCB has also made the point that Afghanistan clearly has a capacity to become the world's largest producer of heroin next year and has urged the international community and the United Nations Security Council to help prevent that .This could come by way of alternative crop substitution and assistance to stop the trafficking of opiates. With nearly 90 per cent of heroin from Afghanistan hitting the streets of Europe, there is the increasing danger of shifting markets to Russia,Iran and Pakistan. Officials here are making the point that although the interim government of Hamid Karzai has issued a ban on the cultivation of opium, questions are being raised on the effectiveness of the ban.
"Afghanistan is a very, very tough problem'', says U.S. Ambassador, Herbert Okun, a member of the INCB. Mr. Okun who briefed mediapersons here on the Board's report argued that even if the ban on poppy cultivation is effective in Afghanistan, the country has a three to six year supply of heroin, some of which had been unloaded since the outbreak of war last October. South Asia, according to Mr. Okun, is "very vulnerable'' because it sits between the Golden Triangle of South East Asia and the Golden Crescent of South West Asia.
The region is vulnerable for two reasons: to transit and to traffickers who are trying to increase their markets.Although India has been largely successful, South Asia has reasons to be concerned, Mr. Okun remarked. The INCB has said that the southern parts of West Asia continue to supply most of the heroin smuggled into and through India and Nepal.
"New Delhi has become a major transit point for heroin trafficking; most of the heroin is smuggled into countries in Europe and North America, occasionally through Sri Lanka'', the report says. Staying in the realm of trafficking the INCB points out that maritime routes leading from the coast of Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka and Maldives are used for transhipment. "Ports in Southern India are increasingly being used for smuggling drugs as evidenced by the sharp increase in the number of seizures made of consignments of narcotic drugs being smuggled by sea along routes leading from India to Sri Lanka'', it says.
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