WASHINGTON, July 23 (The CONNECT) – India and the United States have agreed to cooperate to fight the exploitation of unregulated chemicals and pharmaceuticals diverted by drug trafficking networks and to share best practices for monitoring the use of unregulated chemicals in drug manufacturing.
During the third meeting of the India-U.S. Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG), both sides recognised that drug trafficking and related crimes emanating from the region can present a major threat. They decided to increase coordination and information-sharing on the matter.
They agreed to include drug demand reduction topics under the umbrella of the CNWG, a US Department of State spokesperson said.
The Narcotics Control Bureau, India (NCB) hosted the meeting in New Delhi on July 7 and 8, 2022. Satya Narayan Pradhan, Director General -NCB, led the Indian delegation and Kemp Chester, Senior Advisor to the Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House headed the U.S. delegation.
The U.S. delegation was co-led by senior officials from the State Department and Department of Justice. Representatives from relevant agencies responsible for law enforcement, policy formulation, drug demand reduction, and other drug-related matters, participated in the deliberations on wide-ranging issues related to drug demand, narcotics trafficking, regulatory and control efforts, and cooperation on enforcement and criminal investigations.
The two sides signed an Amended Letter of Agreement (ALOA) in the field of narcotics control and law enforcement cooperation between India and the United States. During the meeting, each side presented an overview of the prevailing drug trafficking scenario in their respective countries and shared updates on current efforts to thwart trafficking and save lives. They also discussed law enforcement coordination, regulatory matters and opportunities for bilateral cooperation in multilateral forums.
The two sides discussed closer cooperation on information-sharing and capacity-building in combatting drug trafficking and related crimes. Acknowledging the importance of bilateral capacity-building in fighting cross-border drug trafficking, the United States will organize training programs for Indian drug enforcement agencies on trafficking in fentanyl and related synthetic opioids.