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DEC QUARTERLY PRESS STATEMENT – 5th May, 2017

DEC QUARTERLY PRESS STATEMENT – 5th May, 2017

DEC QUARTERLY PRESS STATEMENT – 5th May, 2017
May 09
15:06 2017

By Theresa Katongo Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) Public Relations Officer

Lusaka, Friday 5th May 2017-The Drug Enforcement Commission in the first quarter of 2017 arrested a total of 1,431 persons for drug related offences countrywide.

A year-on-year quarterly analysis shows that the total arrests increased by 6.87 per cent from 1,339 in the first quarter of 2016 to 1,431 in the first quarter of 2017. Further, of the total number of persons arrested 30 were foreign nationals while 1,401 were Zambians.

Out of the total number of persons arrested 95 were female comprising 6.6 per cent of the total arrests while 1,336, were male composing 93.4 per cent. Further, 206 juveniles were arrested for illicit drug offences countrywide, representing 4.75 per cent of the total arrests.

On the other hand, foreign nationals constituted 2.1 per cent of the total arrested in the first quarter of 2017.

Of the 1, 431 persons arrested, 148 persons have been convicted for various drug related offences while the rest of the cases are still pending in the courts of law.

During the period under review, the Commission seized 30 tonnes of cannabis plants, herb and seeds. Other drugs seized include cocaine, heroin, diazepam, ephedrine, lidocaine, morphine and diphenhydramine.

Luapula Province recorded the largest quantity of cannabis plants seized totalling 8.2 tonnes followed by Southern Province with 4.6 tonnes, North Western Province recorded 4.2 tonnes and the least was Eastern Province with 52kg. However, Eastern Province recorded the largest quantity of cannabis herb seized totalling 2 tonnes and thus accounting for 38.9 per cent share of the total cannabis herb seized countrywide during the first quarter of 2017.

Counterfeit Notes

A review of statistics involving cases of counterfeit currency indicate that ZMW55, 600.00 was seized in the first quarter of 2017 compared to a total of ZMW35, 298.00 seized in the first quarter of 2016, representing a percentage increase of 57.52 per cent while a total of US$130,100.00 United States Dollar counterfeit notes was seized in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the US$52,001.00 United States Dollar seized in the first quarter of 2016, representing a percentage increase of 150.19 per cent.

Drug Demand Reduction

The Commission through various public awareness activities on the dangers of drug trafficking and abuse in the various institutions of learning, communities and workplaces carried out a total of six hundred and sixty six (666) awareness activities during the first quarter of 2017 representing a 30.84 per cent increase from the 509 awareness activities in the first quarter of 2016.

The commission through its Education and Counselling Department sensitised one hundred and eighteen thousand seven hundred and fifty five (118,755) persons countrywide during the first quarter of 2017.

In its counselling and rehabilitation programme, the Department attended to one hundred and sixty one (161) clients of which nine (9) were female and the rest one hundred and fifty two (152) were male. The age range of the clients was from 13 to 48 years with their common drugs of abuse being cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, and heroin.

Money Laundering

The Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Unit (AMLIU) of the DEC in the first quarter of 2017 received a total of one hundred and eighteen (118) reports of suspected money laundering activities signifying a 257.58 percentage increase compared to the first quarter of 2016 which recorded a total of 33 reports.

During the period under review, the Unit arrested a total of 46 persons for various money laundering cases compared to a total of 10 persons arrested in the first quarter of 2016, representing a percentage increase of 360 per cent.

The Unit, however, recorded a 28.57 per cent quarterly decrease in the number of convictions secured from seven (07) recorded in the first quarter of 2016 to five (05) in the first quarter of 2017.

In its on-going sensitisation programme to raise awareness on money laundering activities, the Unit reached out to four hundred and thirty eight (438) people from various sectors of society.

Conclusion

The Commission would like to thank its cooperating partners, other law enforcement agencies, members of the public and the media for the support given during the period under review and hope that such trust and collaboration shown will continue in the coming months.

Meanwhile, still on policing  Lusaka, Tuesday 9th May, 2017-The Drug Enforcement Commission in Lusaka has arrested and jointly charged two (02) Agronomists for money laundering activities involving over K40 thousand.

Kingsley Sililo, 27, an Agronomist of House No. 115 High Cost in Mkushi has been arrested and jointly charged with Tasha Kenneth Mwansa also an Agronomist of House No. 25856 Woodlands Chalala in Lusaka for theft and money laundering contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Particluars of the offence are that Kingsley Sililo and Tasha Kenneth Mwansa on dates unknown but between 1st January, 2016 and 30th June, 2016 jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown did steal various agro chemical products worth K44, 740 from Cure Chem Zambia Limited a company where Kingsley Sililo worked as a sales representative. Mr Sililo raised a credit sales invoice for various agro chemical products in the name of a company called Trade Vet Agro and informed his former employers that the said products were supplied to Trade Vet Agro when in fact they were delivered to Tasha Kenneth Mwansa.

The agro chemical products were then sold out to other customers by Tasha Kenneth Mwansa and used the proceeds of crime for the personal benefit of himself and Kingsley Sililo.

The two suspects are currently on Police Bond awaiting court proceedings.

Meanwhile the Commission in other parts of the country has arrested thirty (30) people for unlawful cultivation and trafficking in cannabis.

Those arrested and jointly charged include Eunice Nalweye, 30, a small scale farmer of Muzambwe village in Chama District and Josephat Sichimata, 26, a small scale farmer of Luwalizi village in Chama District for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 1.7 tonnes.

Also arrested and jointly charged is Brenda Hamanega, 43, a marketeer of New Jack Compound in Lusaka, Peter Mumba, 21, and Smith Chimuka, 43, a businessman of the same abode for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 508.8kg.

Others arrested include Vivian Chikiila, 39, a small scale farmer of Kalala village in Milenge District for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 649.31kg, Christone Mukosha, 29, a General Worker of Zambia Compound in Serenje District for trafficking in 53kg of loose cannabis and John Chiboni, 38, a small scale farmer of Natomasi farm in Serenje District for trafficking in loose cannabis weighing 46.3kg. All suspects will appear in court soon. Theresa Katongo Public Relations Officer Drug Enforcement Commission

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