MORE than half a million dollars worth of illicit drugs has been confiscated by drug law enforcement officers during the arrest of 143 people suspected of dealing in drugs during April.
According to a report issued by Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, the head of Nampol’s Public Relations Division a sharp rise in drug sales and abuse was observed after the sale of alcohol was banned under the regulations of the State of Emergency.
At the end of last week President Hage geingob reiterated that the possession and sale of alcohol will remain prohibited during Stage 2 of the lockdown. The second stage of the gradual lifting of measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus will only be lifted on the 1st of June 2020 and authorities if the country moves to Stage 3 the sale of alcohol for private use will again be allowed subject to a review by government.
In her report Deputy Commissioner Shikwambi said illicit drugs worth a total of N$502 120 were seized by arresting officers during April.
Out of the 143 suspects arrested for drug possession and dealing in dependency-producing substances only a 131 were Namibians. Officers also arrested two Angolans, five Congolese nationals, one Tanzanian, one Rwandese, two Somalis and one Jamaican national.
Arresting officers confiscated 24.6 kilograms of dagga worth N$246 200, dagga plants weighing 116 grams and worth N$1 160, 863 Mandrax tablets worth N$103 560, 293 grams of cocaine powder worth N$146 500 and 47 pieces or rocks of crack cocaine worth an estimated N$4 700.
She said the drugs of choice remains cannabis, Mandrax, cocaine powder and crack cocaine.
“Our observation is that after the restriction was placed on the sale of alcohol, we now have a rising drug use in the country,” Shikwambi said.
The Namibian Police also reported that they observed a sharp rise in the number of cases where people were caught smuggling beer and spirit from neighbouring Angola and Zambia ever since the sale of alcohol was banned on 27 March when Namibia entered Stage 1 of the lockdown.