Kochi: Despite the increasing cases of substance abuse in Kerala, the Excise Department has yet to establish its own cybercell unit. As a result, the department relies on the cybercell within the police department to conduct investigations into such cases.
Meanwhile, in view of the increasing allegations of drug abuse within the Malayalam movie industry, the Excise Department has launched regular surveillance of film locations. Officials from respective range offices will be deployed to movie sets during shooting to monitor for any signs of substance abuse. However, the leakage of confidential details regarding these inspections has become a headache for the department.
Cybercell, a necessity
The sales of psychotropic drugs are often facilitated through social media accounts, making it challenging for authorities to monitor and prevent such transactions. To crack down on the supply chains, the Excise Department collects information from the mobile phones of individuals caught selling or purchasing these drugs. However, such surveillance mechanisms could be strengthened with the establishment of an active cybercell within the department.
Currently, each district-level office has two officials responsible for cyber cell-related work, but a lack of technical support presents a significant challenge.