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DEC Arrests Multiple Individuals for Cannabis Cultivation and Trafficking

The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in North Western Province, Zambia, carried out targeted operations over the weekend, resulting in the arrest and charging of 12 individuals involved in the cultivation and trafficking of over 1.2 tonnes of fresh cannabis plants.

In Kalumbila District, four suspects – Peter Malupenga (21), Richard Kameya (40), Beatrice Benela (48), and Lazalous Kameya (32) – were apprehended in the Shilende area for the unlawful cultivation of a substantial 730 kilograms of fresh cannabis plants. 

Additional operations in Solwezi District led to the arrest of Brian Kayeze (40) and Future Kayeze (22) in the Mulenga and Kisasa areas for cultivating 350 kilograms of cannabis. In the Kisasa area, Vickson Kapita (58) and Oswell Lolozhi (44) were arrested for cultivating 150 kilograms of the illegal plant. 

Violet Chinyama (39) was apprehended in the Mazabula area for trafficking in 48 balls and suspected loose cannabis, weighing approximately 1.1 kilograms.

In a separate incident in Solwezi, three juveniles were arrested in the Zambia Compound for trafficking 534 grams of loose cannabis. 

Meanwhile, in Muchinga Province, a Tanzanian national, Jose Joseph Simfukwe (38), was apprehended for trafficking in 1.3 kilograms of loose cannabis and possessing 20 sachets of heroin during an operation in Nakonde District on January 20th, 2024.

The operation revealed a well-established cross-border trafficking network, with Simfukwe believed to be collaborating with unidentified accomplices operating between Tunduma town in Tanzania and Nakonde town in Zambia. 

The seized illicit drugs will serve as crucial evidence against Simfukwe, who faces charges under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act No. 35 of 2021.

The Drug Enforcement Commission Director General commended the officers for their vigilance and commitment to curbing drug trafficking. 

He urged the public to continue providing information about suspicious activities to assist law enforcement. 

All arrested individuals are expected to appear in court soon on various charges relating to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

Mwenge Mulenga, Public Relations Officer of Drug Enforcement Commission said that the recent series of arrests underscores the persistent challenge of cannabis cultivation and trafficking in Zambia. 

As authorities intensify efforts to combat illegal activities, community engagement and education remain pivotal in effectively addressing this complex issue.

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