The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) arrested about 5,832 persons for drug related offences last year.
This represents an increase of 14.3 percent from the year 2013 when the commission arrested 5,102 people for drug related offences.
DEC Commissioner Alita Mbahwe disclosed the development during the official opening of DEC senior officers’ conference held in Chilanga today.
The conference, which is held annually, is aimed at discussing achievements and failures of the past year and plans for the new year in order for the commission to be effective and efficient.
Ms. Mbahwe further disclosed that the Commission recorded a case of liquid cocaine which was concealed in condoms by a South African female drug trafficker while another South African national was arrested at Kazungula border post for trafficking in six kilogrammes of cocaine.
She stated that the Commission is however delighted with the number of successful cases that were concluded by DEC prosecutors last year.
She cited the Chibolya operation which she said greatly helped in bringing sanity to the compound.
“Out of the 5,832 persons arrested for drug trafficking offences, 3,946 were successfully prosecuted representing 67 percent of the total number arrested,” she said.
Ms. Mbahwe said the Commission, through the Anti-Money laundering Unit, arrested 79 persons for money laundering cases last year and managed to secure 29 convictions.
She said through the Education and Counselling Department, the Commission sensitised 200,445 people countrywide on the dangers of illicit drugs and money laundering while providing rehabilitation services to 304 clients in 2014 as compared to 288 in 2013.
Ms. Mbahwe said this year, the Commission will focus on undertaking a number of activities in order to realise its vision.
And Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila commended DEC for its achievements and pledged government’s support in ensuring that the Commission achieves its mandate of national development.
Mr. Mwila also commended DEC for initiating the process of reviewing the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances Act cap number 96, which is aimed at capturing the new developments concerning illicit drugs.
He hoped that the revised Act will take into account all the inadequacies that were observed in the old one with a view of following the international standards in the fight against illicit drugs.
Mr. Mwila has meanwhile pledged to facilitate the purchase and breeding of sniffer dogs to ensure that the fight against drug trafficking and abuse is minimized.
He further stated that it was unfortunate that DEC only has 11 sniffer dogs servicing the whole country.