Zambia steps up fight against drug offenses


Zambia arrested about 3,214 people on drug-related offenses from January to September, its anti-drug agency said Tuesday.

The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) said out of those arrested, 3,147 are Zambians and 67 are foreigners.

Nason Banda, the DEC director-general, said the arrests resulted from 3,609 intelligence reports received during the period, disclosing that 2,770 cases were investigated.

He told reporters during a press briefing that out of the cases investigated, 2,192 cases were concluded and submitted to the National Prosecution Authority for action.

The agency seized a total of 9.76 metric tons of cannabis herb, 21.86 metric tons of cannabis plants and 0.04 metric tons of cannabis seeds. The agency also seized 6.7 kg of cocaine, 3.63 kg of codeine, and 34.94 kg of heroin, among other drugs.

While acknowledging that the agency is actively addressing drug-related crimes by making the arrests, the official said the large number of pending cases in court is a source of concern.

“The significant drug seizures recorded in the period under review indicate our commitment to combating drug trafficking and abuse within the country. However, the large number of pending cases in court may be an area of concern, and more efforts might be needed to expedite legal proceedings,” he said.

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