ILLEGAL DRUG DEALINGS KEEP AUTHORITIES BUSY

SEYCHELLES: DRUGS/SNA/11/7/18 SABANews 1

Heroin in parcel coming in through the post office. (Pic. Anti-Narcotics Bureau)

VICTORIA – The authorities in SEYCHELLES say they have seized FIVE-POINT-63 kilograms of heroin so far this year.

Designated Minister MACSUZY MONDON has revealed the information this week in the National Assembly.

However, she says although the drug quantities are alarming, the State remains committed to fighting the problem of illicit drugs.

National news agency, SNA, says she has been responding to questions by the Leader of the Government Business in Parliament, CHARLES DE COMMARMOND.

The legislator wanted to know how much heroin the State had seized since JANUARY 2017, how much of the drug was in circulation, and what the authorities were doing to address the problem.

Minister MONDON says heroin and cannabis are the only TWO main types of drugs seized, while TWO people were arrested for cocaine – ONE in 2011 and another one this year.

She says cocaine is a rare type of drug entering the country, and there is no evidence so far to show the country, a group of 115 islands in the INDIAN Ocean, produces dangerous drugs like heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.

SNA says Mr COMMARMOND raised the questions to follow up on a presentation by Minister MONDON on a survey entitled SEYCHELLES Biological and Behavioural Surveillance of Heroin Users of 2017.

It says the study shows the number of heroin users in SEYCHELLES from age of 15 years and above is around FOUR-THOUSAND-800, which equals FIVE-POINT-SIX percent of the population.

Minister MONDON says it is difficult to know the exact amount of drugs in circulation in the country, but experts can use a formula to calculate.

She says, for example, if an individual heroin user consumes ZERO-POINT-THREE grams per day, multiplying the amount with the total number of users – FOUR-THOUSAND-800 – will produce some 144 grams in circulation daily.

Minister MONDON says it is vital for people to realise illegal drugs are entering the country through the seaports and airports, while a large amount is circulating at sea through marine activities.

The national news agency says SEYCHELLES made a number of illegal drug arrests this year, mostly at the airports.

It also says the authorities have detected about 300 black spots on the THREE most populated islands of MAHE, PRASLIN, and LA DIGUE, where illegal activities are taking place.

SNA further quotes Minister MONDON as saying the Anti-Narcotics Bureau and its foreign partners are actively engaged to investigate and share information on activities of dealers and traffickers.

The SEYCHELLES Minister says ONE major challenge is some countries in the INDIAN Ocean Region are giving less attention to drugs and focusing more on piracy and terrorist activities./Sabanews/cam

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