Ethiopia detains 56 foreigners for cocaine, cannabis trafficking

The narcotic division of Federal Police of Ethiopia has arrested 56 foreigners from 15 different countries involved in cocaine and cannabis trafficking.

The arrest is made in the past six months after the police captured 141.7 kilograms of cocaine close to 96 kilograms of cannabis. “Including our operation at the airport and the city [Addis Ababa] in general, we have captured 95 kilograms and 800 grams of cannabis as well as 141 kilograms and 712 grams of cocaine,” said Comander Mengisteab Beyene, head of narcotic division at Federal Police.

The police have the captured narcotic drug trafficking, according to Commander Mengisteab. If someone is captured trafficking narcotic drugs, he/she will face a minimum penalty of 5 year and up to 100,000 birr ($3,600) penalty, according to Ethiopian criminal law.

Ethiopia detains 56 foreigners for cocaine, cannabis trafficking
Ethiopia detains 56 foreigners for cocaine, cannabis trafficking

He made the comment to police TV program on the national broadcaster – ETV. He stated that if the public closely work with the police and other security agencies, the effort to control narcotic drug trafficking in Ethiopia will be fruitful.

A review of drug seizures from 1998 to date indicates an increase in the trafficking of heroin to eastern African countries from Pakistan, Thailand and India, according to report by the United Nations Office o Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“Increased seizures of heroin with Nigerian connections bound for Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya through Ethiopia have been noted as well. Seizures and arrest statistics show that more Tanzanians and Mozambicans are becoming involved in the trafficking of heroin from Pakistan and Iran. Eastern Africa is accessible by sea to heroin and cannabis resin producer countries in South West and South East Asia through the ports in Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya and Tanzania,” it says.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Somalia, currently in the process of establishing a central authority, is host to widespread illegal transactions, including drug and arms trafficking. “There are two important international airports in the region, servicing the capitals’ of Ethiopia and Kenya, which are used as transit points for drugs,” say UNODC report.

The UNODC says both airports have connections between West Africa and the heroin producing countries in South West and South East Asia. There is also an increasing use of postal and courier services for cocaine, heroin and hashish.

Other reports show that two-thirds of the cocaine that is on its way from South America to Europe passes through West African countries, specifically Cape Verde, Mali, Benin, Togo and Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, and Ghana. As reported by the , The cocaine found in Africa originated mainly in Colombia and Peru and frequently transited through Brazil, according to the World Drug Report.