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India, US step up collaboration on counter narcotics regulation

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India and the United States have increased their collaboration on counter-narcotics regulation, data sharing, and law enforcement to address the threat of illicit drugs.

India and the United States have increased their collaboration on counter narcotics regulation, data sharing and law enforcement to address the threat of illicit drugs, a statement said here.

During the second meeting of the India-US Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG), which was convened virtually, the two countries committed to a bilateral framework of policy engagements and expanded cooperation to help reduce the threat of illicit drugs in both countries.

“Both sides committed to the sharing of data, best practices and lessons learned, including details regarding public health approaches to address substance use disorder and other consequences of drug use within our countries,” said a statement of the working group.

The Indian delegation was led by Narcotics Control Bureau Director General Rakesh Asthana.

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Assistant Director Kemp Chester, Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Jorgan Andrews and Department of Justice Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Hodge jointly led the US delegation.

During the meeting, participants highlighted their commitment to strengthening cooperation in curtailing the illegal production, manufacturing, trafficking, distribution of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs as well as the precursor chemicals used to manufacture them.

The participants highlighted efforts in combating drug trafficking in accordance with the rules and regulations of their respective countries and proposed to share best practices for countering synthetic opioids and precursor chemicals, said the statement.

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The two sides also discussed initiatives in support of India’s regional leadership role in building capacity for counternarcotics initiatives in South Asia; countering regional cross-border drug trafficking and crime through enhanced sharing of operational intelligence; and expanding law enforcement cooperation on counternarcotics issues, it said.

Both sides also agreed to the sharing of expertise on dark-net, crypto-currency and postal/courier interdiction mechanism.

In addition, both sides committed to use of a sub-working group to establish a framework for bilateral cooperation to address the drug threat within the two countries, said the joint statement.

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