Seychelles drug enforcement agency celebrates a year of record seizures
Crest of the NDEA (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The National Drugs Enforcement Agency in the Seychelles has seized illegal drugs worth around $3 million during 2014. In a preliminary report issued by the NDEA, over 87 kg of illegal substances were seized, surpassing its 2013 figures by around 150 percent.
According to the report, the agency has credited their increased outputs with its “relentless pursuit” of the importers of illegal drugs as well as its efforts to break the distribution network of some of the Indian Ocean archipelago’s largest drug traffickers.
A total of 84.5 kg of cannabis-based drugs, 2.8 kg of heroin and 985 cannabis plants were seized.
|A dog handler and his highly-trained sniffer dog inspect incoming baggage at the Seychelles International Airport (NDEA) Photo License: CC-BY|
On average, the NDEA performed around 30 operations every day in every district of the country, including searches, seizures, interceptions and arrests. Currently, just under 200 drug offenders are detained in the islands’ main prison of Montagne Posee, while some 90 traffickers are now awaiting trial.
According to the agency, drugs most often arrive in the country concealed in commercial goods imported under the guise of legitimate business imports.
|The drug enforcement agency operates boat patrols to pick up suspicious activities on the ocean (NDEA) Photo License: CC-BY|
The report has also announced that last year at least four drug traffickers were forced to move their operations overseas to countries such as Madagascar, Kenya and Dubai due to the efforts of the NDEA.
Despite the many difficulties in controlling the distribution and use of drugs given the freedom of movement, commerce and travel that is necessary in a free-market economy, the NDEA claims that the drug situation in the country is now “under control and contained”.
|Heroin bullets seized by the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) Photo License: CC-BY|
|Over 87 kg of illegal substances, comprising of 84.5 kg of cannabis-based drugs, 2.8 kg of heroin and 985 cannabis plants were seized by the NDEA in 2014, surpassing its 2013 figures by around 150 percent. (NDEA) Photo License: CC-BY|