BUJUMBURA - Police in Eastern African countries are devising strict measures to crack down on criminals involved in uncontrolled cocaine trafficking in the region.
This follows continuous cases of cocaine traffickers transiting the banned drug from various countries through the Eastern Africa region as both a transit and a destination.Uganda’s Inspector General of Police (IGP), Maj. Gen Kale Kayihura told The New Times recently that, “We are planning to bring our joint efforts, as a region, to combat the recent increase of drug trafficking in our region.”
He said that the region is becoming a transit and destination for cocaine and heroin trafficking, which comes from Western Africa and such countries as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and United Arab Emirates. He attributed the problem to weak control systems at the borders.
Meanwhile, the Guinea-Bissau government announced that suspected drug planes that enter their airspace will be shot down in a bid to reduce the illegal trade.
Guinea-Bissau’s Prime Minister Martinho N’Dafa Cabi was reported saying he had personally issued the uncompromising order, which follows the army’s seizure of a truckload of jet fuel in a forest outside the city of Buba recently.
The Interpol’s Secretary General Ronald K .Noble told The New Times, that Interpol is concerned about Eastern Africa becoming a new trading and transit ground of the drugs.
“There is a growing concern about the region being used for purposes of transiting cocaine besides the concern is the region being a transiting; some of the local population has started using it more than before,” Noble said.
He, however, explained that measures are being put in place to curb the practice. “The recent increase of cocaine trafficking in the Western Africa is affecting this region and has become an issue that fighting this drug is now a priority for the Eastern African police chiefs,” he said.
Recently, Uganda seized 7kgs of cocaine concealed in a suit case from Guinea with Indians and some Europeans involved in the conspiracy of trading the fatal drug. He said Uganda’s capital, Kampala, has become a rehab center which indicates there is a problem of abuse of these terrible drugs.Ends