The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has arrested over 80 people countrywide for unlawful cultivation and trafficking in cannabis.
DEC Public Relations Officer Theresa Katongo said in a statement issued to ZANIS in Ndola today that those arrested are from Luapula, Central and Eastern provinces respectively.
Ms. Katongo said the people that have been arrested include Bayoni Mumba 43, a small scale farmer of Mwansa village in Mansa district of Luapula province for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 1.121 tonnes.
She said others arrested are Maybin Kafunda 48 and Mwansa Mailoni 41, both of Edeni village in Milenge district for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 371.89kg and 306.79kg respectively.
She further said Patrick Mbewe 35, a small scale farmer of Mulanda village in Kapiri Mposhi district was also arrested for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 750kg.
Ms. Katongo also said Aaron Mucheleka 45, of Zoi village in Lundazi district is another person who was arrested for unlawful cultivation of cannabis weighing 835kg and trafficking in 18kg of loose cannabis.
She added that also arrested was Aaron’s brother Alison, 51, of the same abode for unlawful cultivation of cannabis weighing 45kg.
She stated that all the suspects will appear in court soon.
Meanwhile, a truck driver in Eastern province has been convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment with labour for drug trafficking.
Ms. Katongo said Aston Phiri, 38, a truck driver of Kalungzha village in Petauke district was convicted and sentenced to five years with hard labour on the first count of trafficking in 350.8kg of cannabis and two years on the second count for unlawful use of property.
The sentences will run consecutively with effect from April 15, 2016.