Drugs smuggled from Dubai intercepted by Seychelles anti-narcotics agency among $1 million drug busts
Crest of the NDEA (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles National Drugs Enforcement Agency, NDEA, has reported the seizure of almost $1 million worth of drugs, mostly heroin, over the last four days.
The drug busts, which according to the NDEA have led to the arrests of five people in total, were made during several operations at different locations including two that were targeting the smuggling of drugs through the port.
According to a press statement issued this afternoon, the most recent incident yesterday saw the seizure of 1.2 kg of heroin which was concealed in a vehicle drive shaft that had recently arrived in the country from Dubai.
The Deputy Chief Officer of the NDEA Liam Quinn told SNA that two men who had come to collect the consignment at the New Port [the commercial Port of Victoria] were arrested as the result of what he described as "an intelligence-led operation" that had been ongoing for some time.
According to Quinn, the two men who appeared before the courts today have been remanded in custody until July 9 when the court will rule on their bail application.
The second drug bust, originating from another consignment of cargo imported from Dubai, occurred last Saturday.
“Suspected heroin with a gross weight of approximately three hundred and fifty grams was seized when a consignment was discovered concealed in the wing mirror of a truck that had recently been imported from Dubai,” reads the NDEA statement.
A man arrested in relation to this case appeared before the courts on Monday and has been remanded in custody.
Quinn has said that the NDEA has been aware for some time that drugs were being smuggled through the port and had stepped up operations at that particular entry.
“We have increased our manpower in the port in the last couple of months and we have been monitoring the arrival of goods from various destinations and also carrying out inspections… in conjunction with our colleagues in the customs and in the port of origin,” he told SNA.
Apart from the two port-related incidents, drugs have also been seized in two districts; Les Mamelles on the eastern coast of the main island of Mahé where 13 grams of heroin were recovered in a joint operation by the NDEA and the Seychelles police while 149 packages of heroin was recovered from a 23-year-old man at Anse Royale in the South of the main Seychelles island of Mahé.
Both men arrested in the two incidents have been released pending investigation.
A total of 1,384 cannabis plants were also uncovered on Monday on the Seychelles second most populated island of Praslin, on land which the NDEA has said is government property.
No arrests have been made in connection with this seizure.
“Investigations are underway in connection with each of the operations,” reads the NDEA statement.