Date: 16 February 2022
On Tuesday, i.e., 15 February 2022, NCB Director-General S.N. Pradhan inaugurated “Darkathon-2022”- an event to find solutions to counter drug trafficking on the darknet.
Darknet refers to the hidden internet platforms that can only be accessed using specialised software and pre-configured communication protocols for anonymous communication. Drugs cartels and syndicates are known to use this to stay under the radar of law enforcement agencies. NCB recently busted three groups of drug peddlers operating on the network.
During his inaugural address, Mr. Pradhan said there was a rise in drug trafficking through the maritime routes and darknet. Citing the UNODC World Drug Report-2021, he said 94% of the sales in the darknet markets are related to drugs. He said effective enforcement activities had resulted in the enhanced seizures of all major drugs in the recent years. “In the last five years, the country has witnessed exponential increase in the seizure of heroin from 2,146 kg in 2017 to 7,282 kg in 2021, which is about 300% increase. Similarly, there is an increase of 172% in the seizure of opium (from 2,551 kg in 2017 to 4,386 kg in 2021) and 191% increase in the seizure of cannabis (from 3,52,539 kg in 2017 to 6,75,631 kg in 2021),” he said.
The registration for Darkathon-2022 started from Tuesday soon after its inauguration and it shall close on March 31 followed by evaluation and shortlisting of teams and participants between April 14 to April 16. The grand finale is scheduled for April 22 followed by an award ceremony. Registration for the hackathon can be done at https://ncb.cyberchallenge.in
The first prize for the winners will be Rs 2.50 lakh followed by Rs 2 lakh for the second prize winner and Rs 1.50 lakh for the third prize winner. The consolation prize for the fourth and fifth place will be Rs 25,000 each.
The NCB chief has appealed to everyone, particularly students and technical experts to participate in the ‘Darkathon 2022’ to test their skills and to help the country in finding a solution for the challenges that emerged due to misuse of technology.