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Police plead for help in combating illicit drugs

PINI BOTHOKO
Illicit drugs PIC:TOFWEAK.COM
Few years ago the Botswana Police Service (BPS) introduced an operation to uproot illegal drugs but effort is not bearing fruit as drug mules continue to find their way to bring the illicit substances into the country.

The war on drugs has been one that the police have been waging for years though sadly the number of drug users is increasing at a fast pace something that worries the law enforcement agencies. In an operation lead by (BPS)’s director of crime intelligence, senior assistant commissioner Nunu Lesetedi in 2017, 2018 the police that was on a drug-sweeping mission then upped its game as it went around the country arresting many suspects.

Then, following surveillance and intelligence gathering as well as parading suspects in the public glare on national television, the police arrested many suspects and recovered many unaccounted goods.

Doing a follow up to check the operation’s progress, the assistant commissioner of police and also the BPS’s Public Relation Officer, Dipheko Motube said even though the operation is no longer visible on national television like before it is still ongoing.

Motube appealed to members of the community to stop offering drug traffickers a market by buying the illicit drugs. For years, BPS has been battling to contain the rising cases of dagga smuggling especially along the borders.

He stated that the illicit drugs such as dagga, cocaine, meth-cathinone to mention but a few are trafficked from outside the country. Motube pointed out dagga is the most common trafficked drug in Botswana.

However, Motube added that BPS has implemented a number of policing initiatives including formation of task teams to deal with

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the situation. Even though he could not state how many suspects were convicted by the courts of law and how many were acquitted, Motube said a total of detected 722 cases were recorded in 2017 as compared to 1601 that was recorded in 2018.

“There were 1, 115 and 1, 890 people who were arrested in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The cases include those that were generated by task teams across the country,” Motube said.

The police boss pleaded with the community to continue to inform the police about any criminal activity in their respective area.

Recently, Goodhope police arrested two Batswana men in possession of seven bags containing illicit substances suspected to be dagga smuggled from South Africa. Then, Goodhope police station commander, Superintendent Mogomotsi Kwapa bemoaned that together with the Ramatlabama Police Station, they were unable to keep up with the increased drug smuggling activities from South Africa. The seven bags were estimated to weigh 120kg with a street value of P318, 000.

Kwapa stated that cross-border drug smuggling remains a concern as they record a case of dagga smuggling every two weeks.

Police further stated that it is of great concern that the country is battling with COVID-19 but drug mules continue to find their way to smuggle drugs into the country raising suspicion that the trend might mean most of the citizens have turned drugs into a business.



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