DRUGS WORTH SHS 14BN FACE DESTRUCTION
By Andrew Bagala
Posted Tuesday, August 9 2011 at 00:00
The government chemist and court have allowed police to destroy narcotic drugs worth Shs14 billion today at Nsambya Police Barracks in Kampala.
Police will also launch a narcotic unit to combat illicit drug trafficking and growing. Court in Entebbe had earlier blocked police from destroying the drugs until the government chemist has proved that its quantity and types are the exact ones which were impounded.
Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said the chemist found out that the drugs recorded in the police station diary were the exact drugs. “Court had delayed the destruction because some people peddled lies that some of our officers had engaged in drug-trafficking of impounded drugs which the government chemist has found untrue,” Ms Nabakooba said.
The narcotic drugs, including opium, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, were impounded at various border entry points and some from local growers. This will be the second time police are destroying such a big stock of illicit drugs since 2008.
Currently, a bill on narcotic drugs control that the police believe has harsher punishment for drug traffickers is gathering dust in Parliament. The police have invited members on the Internal Affairs parliamentary committee and the Shadow Cabinet to witness the destruction.
According to the United Nation Office of Drugs and Crime, Uganda is marked as a transit point for narcotic drugs from Asian countries to Europe and United States though steadily becoming a destination of synthetic drugs.
In this year’s first quarter, police statistics on drug seizures at Entebbe Airport show surging numbers of methamphetamine on the Ugandan market. Meth is made in laboratories in form of a crystalline hydrochloride and can be illegally used as a stimulant drug to the nervous system to enhance self-esteem