Cops Napping As Dagga Cargo Reaches Namibia

41 bags of cannabis intercepted at Namibia
41 bags of cannabis intercepted at Namibia

FRANCISTOWN: Authorities at Botswana Police Service (BPS) have said that they will investigate how a truck carrying one of the biggest consignments of dagga ever recorded in the Namibian region of Ohangwena might have crossed through Botswana.

Various media outlets in Namibia recently reported that a truck carrying 41 bags of dagga was intercepted at Eenhana. According to police regional commander (in the Ohangwena region), Simeon Shindinge, 41 bags each containing 100 parcels of dagga were concealed amongst the cargo of wooden poles but the police officers managed to detect them after they received a tip-off. The truck was reportedly on its way from South Africa via Botswana to Oshakati in Namibia.

Police are questioning the driver of the truck in connection with the dagga that entered Namibia using the Rundu-Nkurenkuru route.

Additionally, the police in Namibia are yet to determine the value of the dagga. The truck reportedly belongs to a well-known Namibian businessman from the northern part of that country.

“I saw the story circulating online. At the moment we are not sure if indeed it (the truck) passed through Botswana. We will follow the matter to see if indeed the truck passed through Botswana as purported. We will definitely investigate what could have transpired and put remedial measures if at all it passed through Botswana. Our Interpol (Interpol Gaborone) is yet to get a report on the matter,” BPS spokesperson Near Bagali told The Monitor yesterday.

Bagali added, “The arrest is a good development as far as law enforcement in the SADC region is concerned. Transnational border crime is very complex and such arrests show that the police in the SADC region are doing a sterling job. This is a development that is worth celebrating”.

Of recent, the police in Botswana have set out a mission to arrest drug traffickers and hardcore criminals. However, the recent development has led many to believing that despite the police strong interventions many drug traffickers still cross the country undetected owing to its porous borders.

Asked to comment on concerns from the public on arrests of drug lords having slowed down over time, Bagali said police raids targeting drug dealers and handlers are still ongoing as they continue to arrest people who use and deal in drugs.

“It is not like the operation has stopped, it is ongoing.  It is just that we no longer air them on Botswana Television like in the past. We are still on the ground.  Recently we managed to discover marijuana weighing more than 100 grammes at Ga-Kutlo village. That time we did not disclose or share the incident with the media because investigations into the matter were still ongoing following other leads,” Bagali said.

In recent years police and various authorities have indicated that the country is gradually growing to become a transit point for mass-scale drug traffickers among them dagga and heroin.

Dagga as well as heroine are reportedly transported by road from Johannesburg, and pass through Botswana between Tsabong and Kgalagadi Transfontier Park. Dagga is mostly destined to other African countries while heroine is mostly transported from Angola and Namibia to Europe.

Last year an International Development Working paper on ‘The political economy of heroin trafficking 2018’ showed that Botswana is growing to become an important transit centre for heroin destined for Europe.

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