Maria Amakali Windhoek-Although Namibia is not a producer of illicit drugs, these dangerous substances still find their way across the country’s borders, with a total of 737 people arrested for drug dealing between January and September this year. Studies have shown that Namibia is a drug transit haven for drugs destined for other lucrative markets, particularly South Africa. According to Namibian police spokesperson Chief inspector Kauna Shikwambi, commonly seized drugs include cannabis, mandrax, crack cocaine and cocaine powder. “Namibians are small time dealers, as well as users. Commonly, drug dealers are not necessarily users of these substances,” she observed. It is estimated that one in 20 adults, or a quarter of a billion people between the ages of 15 and 64 years, used at least one drug in 2015, with cannabis topping the list and cocaine having fewer users, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime World Drug Report for 2017. The report further indicates that 29.5 million people worldwide use drugs and 0.6 percent of that population have developed drug use disorders. An estimated 207,400 deaths in the world were related to the use of illicit drugs and the staggering number of deaths emanates mostly from drug overdose. The report states that 14 percent of the drug users are living with HIV, which has devastating consequences for their treatment. According to Nampol’s Drug Unit, most illegal drugs are seized from drug dealers and drug mules, from trucks and from the dealers’ homes. Drugs like cocaine make their way to Namibia mainly from South America and Brazil through neighbouring states. A recent case of drug smuggling was reported after two Namibian males were found in possession of 50 kg bags of cannabis valued at N$300,000. A further 6,000 Mandrax tablets were also found behind an office at the Gobabis customs. “All seized drugs are booked in and destroyed after finalisation of cases,” Shikwambi said.
2017-11-06 08:54:43 10 months ago