UP sleuths seize explosives, arms ahead of pollsSleuths seize explosives, arms

Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow

The anti narcotic task force (ANTF) of the Uttar Pradesh Police will probe the nefarious use of new-age technologies of dark web and cryptocurrency in the illegal narcotic trade.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the ANTF to swoop down upon and uproot the illicit narcotic and psychotropic substances trade in the state.

Dark web is defined as a hidden virtual domain, which is accessible only through special software. It allows users and website operators to remain anonymous and untraceable. Dark web portals are encrypted and not indexed on search engines. Dark web is mostly used to evade government censorship and known to be utilised for illegal activity.

Apart from investigating instances of dark web usage for illegal drugs trade, the ANTF will also keep a tab on the illegal opium trade in Barabanki, Faizabad, Shahjahanpur, Badaun, Bareilly, Ghazipur, Mau and Rae Bareli.

According to the state government, the ANTF has prepared a blueprint to curb the illegal drugs trade.

Synthetic narcotic and psychotropic drugs are inorganic/chemical drugs, which are deemed more harmful than natural drugs. There are about 112 synthetic drugs, including injections.

The illicit drug traders and operators use dark web tools to trap gullible youth as their prospective customers. Such operators also use cryptocurrency for illicit transactions to bypass formal payment channels.

Earlier, on the directions of the CM, the state police had launched an extensive anti-drug mafia drive.

Meanwhile, to give more teeth to the ANTF, the specialised wing has been manned with IT specialists, cyber experts and software developers.

Besides, the ANTF sleuths will be imparted training by the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) in near future. The ANTF campaign is being supplemented by the UP special task force (STF) too.

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Besides, the state government will create awareness on the issue, especially among youth so that the narcotic traders do not spread their tentacles in UP.

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