தார் அஸ்ஸலாமில் போதைமருந்து வினியோகத்தில் ஈடுபட்டிருக்கும் கிறிஸ்துவ மிஷனரிகளை கைது செய்ய முடிவு செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது.
Police to arrest clerics dealing in drugs Send to a friend
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 23:09
Drugs are on display at a police station during a news conference. PHOTO | FILE
By Bernard James
The Citizen Correspondent
Dar es Salaam. It is only a matter of time before religious leaders and politicians involved in drug trafficking are brought to book, police have warned.“We have been investigating some religious leaders and politicians and we shall soon pounce on them. Some of them know what’s going on as we talk to you now,” Anti-Drug Unit head Godfrey Nzowa told journalists yesterday.
“We are still receiving useful information about them. This time round we do not want to gamble or miss the target. The information is here and we are working on them,” Anti-Drug Commission chairman Christopher Shekiondo affirmed, also in the same news conference on progress on the war against drug trafficking and abuse.
Their remarks come at a time when Christian leaders are appealing to President Jakaya Kikwete to name religious leaders involved in the illicit trade and prosecute them. Speaking at the ordination of Mbinga Catholic Bishop John Ndimbo in May, President Kikwete accused some clerics of using young Tanzanians as couriers in drug trafficking.
He said such leaders were helping the young people to acquire passports to travel abroad to carry drugs.
The Christian Council of Tanzania swiftly responded to the remarks. Its first vice chairman, Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa, urged the government to name the suspects otherwise the allegations would be treated as untrue. Last Sunday, Polycarp Cardinal Pengo said failure to name the suspects would make the government appear that it was “betraying its own people”.
“I think we are not supposed to clash over this issue. In the drug war we don’t trust anybody but we suspect everybody. It is the most dangerous thing to trust everybody,” Mr Nzowa said yesterday.Mr Shekiondo said many religious denominations were mushrooming in Tanzania and some of them were led by conmen. “Is it unthinkable for a cleric to molest a boy…but such things are happening nowadays. That means there is a terribly high degree of immorality in our society. This wave of immorality hasn’t spared laypeople, religious leaders or institutions.”
He added: “It is true that religious leaders are normally influential and respected. They are trusted in our communities but we also ought to know that they are human beings. Haven’t you ever heard of a cleric charged in court with rape?”
Mr Nzowa said 23 kilos of cocaine and 5,000 kilos of marijuana were seized in the last two months. Twenty-three suspects were arrested during the period.
According to him, drug dealers are changing tactics in transporting drugs. Some of them are using diplomatic credentials to traffic narcotics.
“Drug dealers are using diplomatic passports to claim diplomatic immunity. We have people who have claimed to be ambassadors but we managed to nub them with drugs.”He was referring to a Liberian, a Guinean and three Ugandans who have been arrested and charged for posing as diplomats to peddle drugs.
He said some of them were stuffing drugs in packets and labelling them as coffee or using liquor bottles to conceal them.Mr Nzowa acknowledged a United Nations outlook that Kenya and Tanzania were increasingly becoming a cost-effective conduit of transporting heroin from Afghanistan to other parts of the world.
“I quite agree with the report because it is justified by the huge amount of heroin we have seized in the last two years,” he said.
He said the drug kingpins were changing routes, packaging and couriers to traffic drugs. “One of the best traits of drug dealers is that they are very much disciplined…they are very sophisticated and they are very lethal.”
According to the recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, drug trafficking organisations exploit the low capacity at seaports and airports in the most fragile African states.
It says East Africa’s minimal law enforcement at ports of entry has encouraged drug traffickers to transit heroin from Pakistan or Gulf countries through East Africa.”
According to the US State Department’s 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, drug trafficking has become a major profit generating crime in Tanzania. The report also says that criminals, including drug dealers, use front companies, informal money transfer systems and bureau de change to launder the funds. Real estate and the used car business are also cited as major sources of money laundering for drug dealers in Tanzania.
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