What is Black cocaine, seized by the NCB in Mumbai?

Source: The post is based on the article “What is Black cocaine, seized by the NCB in Mumbai?” published in the Indian Express on 30th September 2022.

What is the News?

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) recently arrested a Bolivian woman from Mumbai airport for allegedly carrying black cocaine.

What is black cocaine?

It is a rare drug, is a mixture of regular cocaine and other chemicals of administrated quantity. It neutralises the smell of cocaine so that it can pass through checkpoints easily.

So, it is being used by drug peddlers coming to India from South American countries.

How do drug peddlers camouflage cocaine into black cocaine?

Black cocaine is a mixture of regular cocaine base with various substances to camouflage typical appearance (e.g. charcoal), to interfere with colour-based drug tests (cobalt salts form deep red complexes in solution), to make the mixture undetectable by drug-sniffing dogs as activated carbon may sufficiently absorb trace odours.

The pure cocaine base is then recovered from the mixture by extraction using common organic solvents such as methylene chloride or acetone. A second process is required to convert the cocaine base into powdered cocaine hydrochloride.

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