Dagga still the top drug

Drugs with a street value of nearly N$2 million were seized by the police in October.

07 November 2018 | Crime

Cannabis is still by far the most consumed illicit drug in Namibia, with 39kg, worth N$1.95 million, confiscated in October.

The other drug busts for cocaine powder, crack cocaine, Mandrax and tik (crystal methamphetamine) pale in comparison, although these narcotics are present in Namibia.

Drugs with a value of about N$2 million were seized by the police in October, while 126 suspects were arrested for drug-related crimes.

According to the chief spokesperson of the Namibian police, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, the drug law enforcement division seized drugs to the value of N$1 976 820 last month.

Statistics provided by the police show that 141 Mandrax tablets with a street value of N$16 920 were seized during October. Police also confiscated 18.8 grams of cocaine powder worth N$9 400 and four units of crack cocaine worth N$4 000. Two straws of tik with a street value of N$1 000 were seized.

Of those arrested, 115 were Namibians, along with eight Angolans, one Burundian, one Tanzanian and one Zambian.

These statistics make it clear that drug use is becoming more common in Namibia.

In June a drug bust to the value of N$206 million was made in Walvis Bay. The 412kg cocaine container that was intercepted set a new record for Namibia.

The biggest haul up to then had been the 30kg for which two Angolans were arrested at Keetmanshoop in 2007.

Namibian Sun last year reported that according to the 2017 World Drug Report the three most commonly seized drugs in Namibia were crack, Mandrax and dagga.

The report indicated that between 2012 and 2015 a total of 2 525 units of crack cocaine, 8 346 Mandrax tablets and 805kg of marijuana were seized in the country.

It stated that in 2015, about a quarter of a billion people globally used illegal drugs.

The retired head of the Namibian drug squad, Deputy Commissioner Hermie van Zyl, at the time told Namibian Sun that in his experience the amounts seized in some cases appeared to be a bit low.

He said dagga was the most common drug in Namibia, while the Khomas, Erongo and Oshana regions were the top three drug-using regions.

Van Zyl said dagga is a popular drug because it is so cheap. “It is actually your drug for the poorer people and the beginner drug for many.”

He said the type of drug a person uses depends on their status and income level.

After dagga, crack cocaine and Mandrax were the most popular drugs in Namibia, followed by Ecstasy. These were mostly found in Windhoek, Swakopmund and in the north, he said.

“But Ecstasy is more of a party drug and then you will get a little bit of LSD. That is the drug that makes you hallucinate, makes you see things and makes you think you can crawl through keyholes.”

ELLANIE SMIT

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