The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in Zambia has released its statistics report for the first three quarters of 2023, highlighting significant achievements in addressing drug-related offenses, money laundering, and substance abuse.
In an official statement issued by Nason Banda, the Director General of the Drug Enforcement Commission, In the first three quarters of 2023, the DEC actively addressed drug-related crimes, resulting in a total of 3,214 persons arrested.
Of these arrests, Mr. Banda reports that 2,960 were Zambian males, 187 Zambian females, and 62 male and 5 female foreign nationals. Additionally, 184 juvenile males and 8 female juveniles were among those apprehended.
The Commission received 3,609 intelligence reports during this period, with 76.8% of cases investigated. Out of these cases, 79.1% were concluded and submitted to the National Prosecution Authority (NPA), he disclosed.
By the end of the third quarter, he said 1,637 cases were pending in court, 513 cases closed with convictions, and 71 concluded by the courts under other circumstances. Notably, 10 cases resulted in acquittals.
The DEC seized substantial quantities of various drugs, including cannabis, cocaine, codeine, heroin, and others, Mr. Banda stated.
The Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Unit (AMLIU) of the DEC diligently addressed money laundering and financial crimes. The report provides insights into AMLIU’s efforts throughout the year.
According to Mr. Banda effective case resolutions were achieved, including arrests, discontinuations, and convictions. The unit conducted numerous awareness activities and maintained strong collaborations with stakeholders. Notable highlights from each quarter were provided.
The DEC conducted 2,202 awareness activities, sensitizing 454,876 people on the dangers of drug trafficking, abuse, and money laundering.
He noted that 130 media awareness programs were conducted on radio and television. The Commission also provided counseling and reintegration services to 1,006 clients, primarily for issues related to alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs.
Family and friends were the leading sources of referrals. Counseling services were offered, and clients were referred to various healthcare facilities and rehabilitation centers.
AMLIU, in collaboration with the NPA, successfully had a total of 81 properties forfeited to the State, along with significant sums of money.
The DEC achieved several notable arrests in various cases, including drug trafficking, counterfeit notes, money laundering, and more.
Mr. Banda emphasized the Commission’s dedication to addressing financial crimes, drug trafficking, and substance abuse.
He encouraged citizens to support the Commission by providing crucial information to combat illegal drug trade, substance abuse, and money laundering, thereby contributing to community safety and the integrity of the financial system.
The statistics report showcases the Commission’s commitment to maintaining law and order in Zambia and safeguarding the country against the adverse effects of drugs and financial crimes.