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HomeLocal NewsDEC arrests down by 9pc in 2018

DEC arrests down by 9pc in 2018

SANFROSSA MANYINDA writes

@SunZambian

THE Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) says it recorded a 9 per reduction in the number of arrests in 2018 countywide.

DEC Public Relations Officer Theresa Katongo said in 2018 the organisation recorded 5, 241 arrests for various drug related offences compared to 5, 757 in 2017.

Ms Katongo said that of the total number of people arrested, 375 were female 4, 866 were male including 295 juveniles aged between 11 and 17 years.

Ms. Katongo said that a total of 1, 888 convictions were recorded against 77 acquittals with a further 2, 804 cases still pending in the courts of law at various stages.

“Overall, the Commission seized a total of 128.82 tons of cannabis plants and 22.30 tons of cannabis herb with the highest quantity recorded in Muchinga Province followed by Southern and Eastern Provinces respectively,” she said.

She explained that among other drugs seized by the Commission are Miraa (177.749 kg), Ephedrine (57.106 kg), Cocaine (2.315 kg) and Heroin (4.121 kg).

And Ms. Katongo said that under the Anti-money laundering Investigations Unit, the Commission arrested 77 people for various predicate and money laundering offences from 51 cases involving K 37, 471, 220.18 and US$ 1, 171, 064.36.

She further said that the Commission seized various assets suspected to be proceeds from criminal amounting to a total of K 71 million while cash seized amounted to K 13, 043, 732.02 and USD 59, 901.56.

She said that a total 25 persons were convicted for various predicate and money laundering offences from 24 cases while 05 were acquitted by the courts of law.

“The trends observed in the year under review indicate an increase in cases of fraud and embezzlement of public funds involving officers in the public sector mainly arising from abuse of authority of office,

“Other notable typologies included cybercrime cases involving ATM/Credit card cloning while the most prevalent type of money laundering used by suspects was conversion of proceeds of crime into livestock, real estate and motor vehicles,” she explained.

Ms. Katongo said that the Commission through the National Education Campaign Division (NECD) conducted a total of 2,310 awareness activities from which a total of 486, 106 people were sensitised through institutions of learning, community and workplace programmes as part of the drug demand reduction strategy.

She also said that the Commission attended to 757 clients under the counselling and rehabilitation programme as compared to 704 in 2017, representing a 7.5 percentage increase.

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