Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY – Namibia should make serious investment in terms of beefing up security at border posts by deploying more law enforcement officials, sniffer dogs as well as scanners to help the police fight drug trafficking.
This is according to the Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force (Nampol), Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga who says Namibia is in serious trouble in terms of drug trafficking that is increasing at an alarming rate.
Ndeitunga made the remarks on Monday in Walvis Bay, when he applauded Nampol in Erongo, Namport as well as Customs and Excise for their smart partnership and commitment that led to the arrest of two suspects as well as the detection of cocaine that was intercepted at Namport last month.
He says most of the illicit drugs are entering the country undetected at border posts, although some criminals are being assisted by corrupt officials at entry points. In some instances, he says, drugs slip through undetected as there are simply not enough resources and manpower to detect it.
“We don’t know how many shipments have passed through undetected or assisted. Hence we need to beef up our intelligence and also encourage total honesty and commitment from all law enforcement agency officials,” he said.
According to Ndeitunga at least 35 people, including Namibians, South Africans, Angolans, Malawians and Zambians have been arrested at various border posts for drug trafficking since January last year to date.
Apart from this, he says that drugs with a street value of N$215 million have been confiscated during the same period. “Drug trafficking is a concealed crime and hence make detection very difficult. Therefore we should beef up our detection intelligence especially at border ports, airports as well as our ports,” he said
Ndeitunga explained that drug trafficking continues to be a worldwide problem and that Namibia is no exception.
“Namibia is not considered as a producing and consuming country yet. It was always considered as a transit country. However over the past years our country has become one of the recognised consumers of illicit drugs and a few cannabis plants were detected and destroyed around the country,” said the police chief.
Hence he urged law enforcement agencies at Walvis Bay to continue working together to devise practical and viable strategies, initiatives and good practices in combatting crime, particularly concealed crimes such as drug trafficking.