Glamour girls as drug peddlers and traffickers

Representative Image Fashionistas, models, film stars and starlets are hogging headlines in the media for their active involvement in peddling of narcotic drugs in hush-hush gatherings, rave parties and among elite sections of society. As recreational drug use popularity is soaring among all sections of the population, many are tempted to make quick and easy money and lead a luxurious lazy life style.

Illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines and ecstasy) remain the most profitable, hence trafficking and peddling these drugs is very popular and pays handsomely. Illicit revenues are shared by a plurality of organised crime groups and criminal actors. The use of business facilitators and of legitimate companies to cover illicit trade is also widespread. The poly-crime nature of criminal groups in different parts of the country, by migrant labour expands the economies of scale among illicit markets, reduces groups’ operational costs and increases their profit margins. Illicit proceeds are preferred to be invested in bars and restaurants, construction, wholesale and retail trade (especially of food products and clothing), transportation, hotels and real estate.

The film and fashion industry are overcrowded with too many aspirants dependent on agencies to give them work, low remuneration for freshers, and the inability of many aspirants to balance their personal and professional life. Many resort to drug consumption for relief from stress burden and many others take to drug-peddling as a back-up career plan, as the remuneration is attractive. Further their close contacts in the industry gives them accessibility and credibility than any other ordinary trafficker or peddler. But these professions are very unique as there is excessive focus and importance on appearance and fitness, inner well-being and financial stability. This is a very short-term profession and a very fast-moving life. Attrition rate is very high and most simply fade away from public memory very quickly. Thereafter many drift into trafficking and peddling drugs as a source of livelihood and for looking after family needs.

It is generally considered that drug trafficking organizations are predominantly operated by men and that the role played by women in drug trafficking is very limited. Globally, the majority of drug traffickers are men, but there is little research into this aspect. However, current trends worldwide suggest that girls are getting more involved in drug trafficking. Girls may have diverse roles in a drug trafficking network, from a central role in a drug network or trafficking group to a significant or intermediary role, or an insignificant role along the drug supply chain. Studies have shown “a crossover between drug trafficking, drug use, prostitution and trafficking in persons. In those studies, situations have been documented of women becoming involved in drug trafficking to sustain their own drug consumption, of sex workers smuggling drugs and of women who were victims of trafficking in persons or trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation being forced to smuggle drugs. (UNODC Report- Women and Drugs – World Drug Report 2018)”. In many of the recent drug cases booked against Bollywood stars, the […]

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