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7 Arrested in Anti-Drug Operation

The Anti-Drugs Operation Division of the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in Lusaka province, has seized and apprehended seven individuals in connection with a substantial quantity of narcotics at  the Chirundu border post. 

According to an official statement by Mwenge Mulenga, DEC Public Relations Officer, the operation took place on Saturday, January 13th, 2024, during a routine search of transiting vehicles at the Chirundu Border Post. 

A luxury coach services bus, en route to Tanzania from Zimbabwe, was found to be carrying 59.19 kilograms of high-grade cannabis concealed within various packages, including computer CPUs.

The individuals involved in the illicit operation were identified as follows:

  • Shelimo Haji Nassoro, a 33-year-old male bus conductor
  • Mushi Shabani Abdillahi, a 39-year-old male bus host
  • Ramadhani Fatma Rashid, a 41-year-old female business lady and passenger
  • Kibanga Issa Hokelai Raphael, a 46-year-old male driver
  • Kubo Salimu Ally, a 33-year-old male driver
  • Shemahonge Gerald Isaack, a 26-year-old male mechanic

All six individuals, of Tanzanian nationality, were jointly charged with trafficking and importing narcotic and psychotropic substances, as per Act 35 of 2021 of the Laws of Zambia. 

They were initially scheduled to appear in court on Friday, January 19, 2024, but due to the absence of a Swahili interpreter, the proceedings were rescheduled for the following week.

In a separate but related incident, the DEC also apprehended and charged Muyambango Cleopatra, a 44-year-old Zambian businesswoman, for trafficking 19.2 grams of Benylin with Codeine. The illicit substance was intended for Lusaka, Zambia, from South Africa through a designated bus operator. 

Ms. Cleopatra cooperated with law enforcement officers, leading to her conviction and a 12-month sentence of simple imprisonment earlier in the week.

Mr. Mulenga reiterated the DEC’s commitment to enhancing cross-border operations and security checks, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding Zambia’s borders against potential infiltration. 

He emphasized that the commission remains dedicated to thwarting any attempts to exploit the country’s strategic location, crucial for facilitating trade and economic activities in the southern region.

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