S/Africa hosts global anti-drug conference

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South Africa
South Africa

The Interpol Global Drugs & Illicit Substances Trafficking Conference kicked off on Tuesday in Cape Town with the aim of pushing frontiers for effective global drug enforcement.

Over 400 delegates from Interpol’s 194 member countries will discuss ways to tackle growing drug trafficking, particularly in Africa, at the three-day conference.

The methods Interpol and all law enforcement agencies are using to enhance international capacities to efficiently respond to this criminality will also be under discussion.

The conference brought together law enforcement officials, subject matter experts and representatives of key regional and international bodies to share high-level expertise and experience to best curb drug trafficking.

The conference was also designed to enhance the understanding of current and emerging drug threats globally.

It also aimed at developing improved national, regional and global responses in countering the illegal drug trade, to raise awareness of the role of crypto-currencies and the dark net as a marketplace for drugs and contraband.

In a opening speech, the South African National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole said the conference took place at a time when the increase in drug use and drug trafficking continues to affect every region globally.

Sitole said the phenomenon threatens to cripple society and destroy its moral fibre, particularly that of our youth, who are the future leaders of our respective countries.

He added that the quantity of drugs seized worldwide daily continues to increase and illegal drug trafficking generates enormous profits for the illegal trafficker, the crop grower, the petty dealer in the neighbourhood.

According to Sitole, the conference will provide a fitting and significant platform to address new and emerging trends and patterns of illegal trafficking, cybercrime, virtual currencies used in the trade of illegal substances and narcotics trafficking.

According to the latest UN statistics, criminal networks have expanded their activities from transporting cocaine and heroin through Africa to Europe and other destinations and are now engaged in opioid trafficking.

The 2018 report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime shows that 87 per cent of pharmaceutical opioids seized globally came from Western and Central Africa.

The report said Northern Africa are also involved largely due to rising use of tramadol, an opioid painkiller that is widely trafficked for non-medical use in the region.

Africa and Asia saw the largest rise in cocaine seizures, suggesting that cocaine trafficking and consumption have spread to these markets, the report said.

Interpol has pledged to enhance support for member countries in their fight against trafficking in illegal drugs, expand and provide effective strategies and new capabilities to better address this rapidly and ever-evolving threat.

Sitole said South Africa would take advantage of this conference to showcase its law enforcement capabilities in combating drug trafficking.

He said the conference further provides an ideal opportunity for South Africa to discuss with its global counterparts the wide range of existing government reforms and criminal justice programs.

Sitole said all the reforms have been implemented to turn the rising tide against crime and drugs. (NAN)

-Sep 17, 2019 @14:42 GMT |

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