CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
LUAPULA has recorded the largest quantity of seized cannabis plants totalling 8.2 tonnes in the first quarter of 2017.
It was followed by Southern Province with 4.6 tonnes, North-Western Province 4.2 tonnes and the least was Eastern Province with 52 kilogrammes.
Drug Enforcement Commission spokesperson Theresa Katongo said Eastern Province recorded the largest quantity of cannabis herb seized totalling two tonnes, accounting for 38.9 percent of the total cannabis herb seized countrywide.
Ms Katongo said the commission’s education and counselling department sensitised 118,755 people on the danger of drug abuse and trafficking.
And DEC arrested 1,431 people for drug-related offences countrywide in the first quarter of this year.
The 2017 quarterly analysis shows that the total arrests of people for drug-related offences increased by 6.87 percent from 1,339 in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the 1,431 over the same period this year.
Ms Katongo said in a statement yesterday that of the total number of those arrested, 30 were foreigners while 1,401 were Zambians.
Of all those arrested, 95 were female while 1,336 were men.
She also said 206 juveniles were arrested for trafficking in illicit drugs countrywide.
“Of the 1,431 suspects, 148 have been convicted while the rest are still in court,” Ms Katongo said.
She said the commission also seized 30 tonnes of cannabis plants, herbs and seeds.
Meanwhile, Ms Katongo said a total of US$130,100 counterfeit notes were seized in the first quarter of this year compared to the US$52,001 seized over the same period last year, representing 150.19 per cent increase.
She also said K55,600 counterfeit notes were seized compared to K35, 298 seized in the first quarter of 2016, representing a 57.52 percent increase.