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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Nearly D9bln worth of drugs seized in Gambia in 2021

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By Omar Bah

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has announced that nearly D9 billion worth of different varieties of drugs was seized in the country in the past year.

“In 2021, the agency seized significant quantities of drugs worth an estimated street value of almost nine billion Dalasis (D8, 934,197,604.02) equivalent to more than eighty-nine (89) million US dollars (89,351,265.74 US Dollars),” DLEAG said in its summarised 2021 seizure statistics report shared with The Standard.

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The drug law enforcement body also provides a breakdown of the drugs seized.

“The agency seized almost three (3) tons of cannabis sativa, almost three (3) tons of cocaine, (39) kilograms of khat leaf, (2447) tablets of clonazepam, (232) tablets of diazepam, (200) tablets of tramadol, (85) tablets of methamphetamine – meth, (50) tablets of Bromazepam, (32) tablets of ecstasy, (7) grams of kush, 213 grams 580 milligrams of heroin and 2 kilograms 447 grams 314 milligrams of hashish.”

Controlling prohibited drugs remains challenging as DLEAG’s operatives across the country frequently arrest traffickers with huge quantities of such substances.

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In 2022 alone, DLEAG said it has seized 934 kilograms, 805 grams, 200 milligrams of cannabis sativa, 979 grams, 370 milligrams of hashish, 1 gram, 200 milligram of cocaine, 2 grams, 200 milligrams of heroin, 96 tablets of clonazepam, 17 tablets of methamphetamine and 19 tablets of ecstasy.

“We registered 179 cases involving 172 persons. Some of the suspects were involved in more than two cases. Most of those with two or three cases are repeat offenders re-arrested while they were on bail. 170 of the accused persons are male and 2 are female.  131 representing 76.2 % are between the ages of 18 to 35, those above the age of 36 represent 22.6% being 39 persons and those below the age of 17 years are 2 representing 1.2%,” DLEAG said.

The agency argued that “illicit drug trafficking and related activities coupled with associated menace and multiplying implications undermine and threaten human and national development across the globe.”

It added that nations are faced with the challenge of suppressing the supply of these “ungodly products as well as providing support to persons affected with substance use disorders”.

“Addressing these issues places a huge financial burden on states in providing adequate human and material resources required to tackle and contain drug abuse, illicit drug trafficking and related activities,” it added.

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