For drug seizures in the age of technology, police still rely on ‘khabris’ | India News


MUMBAI: Hardik (name changed) reads the morning papers at his home in Bhuleshwar in Mumbai while his wife prepares a meal. He then drops off his sons at school before heading off to meet someone. Hardik has great news to share. Later that day, a police team raided a Mumbai facility and recovered a supply of drugs.
Hardik consults the newspapers again the next day and examines a report on drug trafficking. This time, he can afford the vacation that his family claims. The payoff for the drug pipe should be substantial.
The influence of the “khabri” network may have waned with the advent of technology, but for drug seizures, drug enforcement agencies still rely on human intelligence. “Technology can support and increase the accuracy of human information but cannot replace it,” says DCP Datta Nalawade of the Mumbai Anti-Narcotics Unit. Typically, drug law enforcement agencies verify information before conducting a raid. Often, a confidential informant can help verify information in the field. “Mumbai has a large number of people who make a living from providing information to agencies full time,” said Nalawade.
Many informants live on the fringes of the criminal world. “This is how they get authentic information,” said a former IPS officer. A good reward is usually the motivation to snitch. The police have a secret fund while the national agencies could propose a percentage depending on the recovery. “Sometimes a tip comes from a member of the drug supply chain who is unhappy, offended or humiliated,” he said.
“We are looking for a weak link in the supply chain and use certain strategies to get details, or we are bringing one of our trusted informants into the network,” an official said.
A retired officer recalled how drug informants were developed a decade ago. “One of my informants was anxious because his wife was in a traffic accident and needed blood. I agreed to donate it. I would remind him afterwards that we now had a “blood connection” and that he had to give birth when I needed it, ”he recalls.
For informants, a good reward is usually the motivation to snitch. Police have a secret fund while national agencies could offer a percentage based on drug recovery.


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