Value of seized drugs doubles over two years
130 juveniles arrested since 2020 on drug charges
Defence minister Frans Kapofi has said amendments to the law should ensure drugs are instantly destroyed and not kept as exhibits.The value of illegal drugs seized by police has doubled from N$17 million to N$35 million between 2020 and 2022
The number of offenders increased from 1 438 in 2020 to 1 913 in 2022.
Defence minister Frans Kapofi said this during his contribution to the motion on the impact of drug offences and the effectiveness of the existing legal framework in curbing drug-related incidents in Namibia.
Between January and September this year, drugs valued at more than N$35.7 million were seized from 1 913 individuals, who included 1 782 Namibians adults, 39 juveniles and 90 foreigners.
In 2021, drugs worth more than N$35.5 million were seized from 1 452 individuals, who include 1 264 Namibian adults, 51 juveniles and 137 foreigners.
In 2020 drugs to the value of more than N$17.36 million were seized from 1 438 individuals, which included 1 279 Namibians, 40 juveniles and 119 were foreigners.
According to Kapofi, from 2020 to 2022, it is reported that 346 out of the 4 803 offenders were foreigners.
"It is, however, not clear whether the foreigners were the couriers of all the drugs that found their way into Namibia or whether they were accomplices."
He added that the biggest concern are the high number of juvenile offenders.
"The juveniles are of this country, hence their protection against all types of harms must be the priority of our society by all three organs of state and the general public."
The minister said drug use among members of law enforcement is worrying.
"There are records of defence and security personnel and other enforcement agents who were arrested for being in possession, for consumption and or being complicit in the commission of drug-related crimes."
Kapofi said that the motion questions the effectiveness of the existing legal framework to curb drug-related incidents in Namibia.
He said that all the drugs that have been seized in Namibia over the past three years are not produced in the country.
"There is therefore a likelihood that the movement of drugs in Namibia has the hand of a foreigner."
Kapofi said that this shows there is a need to introduce punitive measures for drug traffickers.
He said that the law must prescribe both imprisonment and deportation of foreign offenders, with a declaration of a "persona non-grata" upon deportation.
The law should also ensure drugs are instantly destroyed, and not kept as exhibits to ensure they don't disappear.
He said that when amended, the law should define drug offences with reference to the role of the person in the crime, as opposed to defining drug offences mainly or exclusively with reference to the quantity of drugs that the person is in possession of.
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