WALVIS BAY – Drugs worth N$10.870 million were confiscated and at least 1 939 Namibians were arrested for either dealing in, or being in possession of drugs since 2012 until March this year. A total of 212 foreign nationals were arrested on drug charges during the same period.
These shocking statistics were revealed by the Head of the Criminal Investigation Directorate of the Namibian Police, Commissioner Nicholas Shiweda Endjala. He made the revelations during the opening of a three-week training course on drug identification, trafficking and identification of chemical equipment and container profiling that is underway at Walvis Bay.
The course that started on May 7 is being conducted by four British experts and attended by 30 officials from the 14 regions of Namibia.
Breaking down the statistics, Endjala said drugs with a street value of N$470 000 had already been confiscated between January and March this year with at least 216 Namibians and 16 foreigners arrested.
“During 2012, drugs with a street value of N$6.3 million were confiscated and 863 Namibians and 108 foreign nationals arrested. In 2013 drugs with a street value of N$4.1 million were confiscated and 860 Namibians and 88 foreign nationals arrested,” he said.
He added that the figures were worrisome and clearly indicated that drugs entering the borders of the country were mostly for local consumption.
“The figures not only depict an alarming increase in drug related cases but also show the pro-activeness of our officers in fighting drug trafficking,” he said.
He added that drugs such as cannabis, mandrax, cocaine, crack cocaine, ephedrine, methcathinone and ecstasy were some of the drugs confiscated so far.
Endjala stressed the importance of taking comprehensive action to ensure that evidence gathered during raids was retained. Therefore investigators were expected to thoroughly investigate drug trafficking cases and not merely record details on the assumption the offence cannot be solved or that someone else will carry out investigations at a later stage.
“Most importantly, you should ensure the scene of the crime is preserved and all evidence that will lead to the lawful prosecution and conviction of the accused,” he told the gathering.
By Eveline de Klerk