The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) arrested a total of 1,339 people countrywide for various drug offences in the first quarter of 2016.
The Commission stated that as at the end of March 2016, it arrested 1,339 people who include 1,224 males and 115 females for various drug related offences.
Of the total number of people arrested, 54 were juveniles and 25 were foreign nationals.
In a statement issued to ZANIS by the Commission’s Public Relations Unit, Lusaka Province registered the highest number of arrests with 308 people followed by the Copperbelt Province with 184.
Luapula Province had 167 arrests, Southern Province 141, Central Province 125, and Eastern Province recorded 118. Muchinga Province recorded the least arrests with 44 people.
“Out of the 1,339 people arrested, 501 people have been convicted for drug offences. 836 cases of drug offences are pending before the courts of law, “read the statement in part.
The Commission also seized 20.04 tonnes of cannabis, 129.4kg of miraa, 24.24kg of cocaine, 30g of lignocaine and 24.82g of diazepam.
In addition,the DEC also recorded the largest single seizure of cocaine weighing 24.19 Kg beating the previous record of 13.12Kg seized from two Bolivians in 2012.
And the Commission’s Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Unit arrested a total of ten (10) and convicted seven (07) people for money laundering offences.
The total amount involved from the arrests made amounts to K 855, 846.62 and US$44,204.46.
“The Commission also seized counterfeit bank notes amounting to ZMW35, 298.00 and US$52,001.00 in the first quarter of 2016, ‘ said the statement.
And the Commission through its Education and Counselling Department sensitised a total number of 80,714 people through the workplace, community and institutions of learning programmes.
Under the Counselling and Rehabilitation programme, the Commission attended to 126 clients of which six 6 were female and the remaining 120 male.
The age range of the clients was from 13 to 53 years with common drugs abused being cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, and heroin.