Swiss national sent to judicial remand in Himachal Pradesh

January 22nd, 2009 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Jan 22 (IANS) A Himachal Pradesh court Thursday sent a Swiss national to 12 days of judicial remand for possession of opium.”A court sent Swiss national Andre Moll to judicial remand till Feb 2. He was arrested from the Manikaran valley in Kullu district on Jan 18 for possessing 1.2 kg of opium,” Kullu Superintendent of Police Jagat Ram told IANS.

Since his arrest, Moll had been in police custody. He was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) act.

Jagat Ram said the Swiss embassy in New Delhi had been informed of Moll’s arrest.

In the past 10 years, 208 foreigners have been arrested in Himachal Pradesh.

Police officials say foreign drug smugglers, working in collusion with addicts, are virtually ruling the roost in Mandi, Kullu and Chamba districts that have a serious problem of drug cultivation, trafficking and use.

According to them, a large number of foreigners settled in various villages in these districts have been actively involved in smuggling narcotics in connivance with local peddlers.

The foreigners were even providing high-yield variety cannabis seeds imported from Holland and Russia to farmers for planting in various high-altitude areas like Malana, Bhelang, Melandar, Magic and Kutlah in the Kullu valley as well as the Chauhar and Seraj valleys in Mandi district, the police officials said.

According to estimates of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), more than 6,000 acres of land in Himachal Pradesh is under cannabis cultivation.

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