Wednesday 5 July 2023

Drug trafficking in Guinea: entry point, country of origin, types of drugs, …(Interview).....BY SAIDOU 2 SOW

Like many countries, Guinea is confronted with drug trafficking. To find out more about this phenomenon, Saidou Sow of Guinea360 Online met the Divisional Police Commissioner, Abdoulaye Sangaré, Deputy Central Director of the Anti-Drug Office. In this interview, he explains the situation of the fight against drug trafficking in Guinea, the countries of origin, the points of entry into the national territory, the types of drugs and the quantities seized. He also talks about "merin" and the place of cooperation in this ongoing struggle. A few years ago, Guinea was in the process of becoming the hub of drug trafficking in the West African sub-region. What about nowadays?

DGA Antidrug Office: Indeed, at one time, we were all worried about the frequency of seizures of large quantities of drugs in our country. Today, I think that security services at all levels are hard at work trying to combat this phenomenon and there are significant advances.

What are the countries of origin?

When it comes to drugs, the countries of origin constitute a chain. In Africa, generally, it is the countries of South America that constitute the countries of origin. But drug traffickers are very smart. You can see some for example when they want to go to Spain, they leave South America, they come to Conakry, from Conakry again, they move to Spain, so there are a lot of countries involved. Wherever they see that control is not so difficult, they take advantage. They can leave South America to come to Africa, from Africa and go up to Europe generally, that's how it is. So it is not easy to know their provenance. It is a twisted path, because drug traffickers are very clever.

What are the entry points for drugs in Guinea?

Cocaine, this hard drug, generally its point of entry is on the sea, land routes are rarely used except for passage, but generally it is on the sea where large quantities are seized by the Marine. We can see 200 to 300 kilograms seized at sea, but by land it is often 2 to 3 kg. We are the victim of a situation that drug traffickers take advantage of, Guinea is a coastal country, we have three thousand two hundred kilometers of coastline with all its coasts and air and land borders, it is difficult to control everything. If you take the landing stages for example, we have more than a hundred and something even if we line up all the police officers we cannot, so it is in the best known landing stages that we have our checkpoints, the other points which cannot be controlled by us, these are the entry points.

What is the situation of local drug production in Guinea?

Regarding local production so far we have not seen a laboratory where we are manufacturing here, but even the quantity that occurs in the country is cannabis. It is a natural drug. It grows well towards Forecariah or Sierra Leone, generally the lands of these areas are very favorable to this culture.

Is merin considered a drug by the Anti-Drug Office?

Merin is a natural plant found in Guinea. It is not on the drug list of the Office on Drugs. Its prohibition depends on the country. It's like cannabis, for some it's a medicine. But it's all about the dose.

What types of drugs do you encounter on Guinean territory?

On the territory, we encounter cocaine, crack. Crack is processed cocaine powder. In France, it is called the pebble. It's cocaine, but we add chemicals to make it harder and we cut it into small pieces. We have the Kush that Guinea has just known through the border countries. We also have Indian hemp, we also encounter hashish in the field, which is also a natural drug.

There is also a new form of drug which is medicine. These are medicines that are under high international control, which is why we avoid anyone selling these medicines, because if it falls into the hands of someone who is inexperienced, it is not not good. When you take, you do 24 hours in motion due to the chemical composition of these products. This is the list of trananadols, theralenes it has a very moderate dose, some are 125 milligrams, but people take 400 milligrams. And when you take them, you can stay in front of a battle tank without realizing it. So it's another form of drugs, which we are trained to fight against. This is why some drugs have been burned recently.

Since the statistics for the year 2023 are not available, what are the quantities seized during the year 2022?

10.984 kg of cocaine were seized at the airport and certain land and sea borders in 2022. The alleged owners have been brought to justice. Cannabis, 10 tons and 400 kg were seized through the Central Office and its branches, from Conakry to the interior of the country. Kush, a natural drug from Afghanistan that is altered through dangerous and deadly chemicals, 12.24 kg were seized. This drug, one gram is enough to kill.

We seized 74 boxes of Tramadol, 40 boxes of Neo-codium, 61 boxes of Theralene, 27 boxes of Phenergan. These are products under international control that are not for sale to just anyone. They contain very energetic substances, they are painkillers. Only authorized persons can have and sell them on medical prescription.

Do you have enough resources to work effectively?

We have rolling machines, but whatever it is, we can never say that we are 100% satisfied. We are at the heart of the vows. Nothing is impossible ! We have logistical means, and men, which have made it possible to create a large extension of the Office. When we came, OCAD only covered the port, the airport, the Kourémalé border, Sambaïlo in Koundara and Pamelap. Today, we are at more than twenty dismemberments.

We also have tablets, walkie-talkies through which we communicate when our men are in the field. But we can ask for example drones, shuttles. We are in the process of asking the cooperators if we can have shuttles that will allow us to be along the landing stages.

What about cooperation with other defense and security services?

We have been the Central Office since the decree of August 24, 1994, our service has experienced many shuttles. But there is cooperation between the services, for example at the customs level. Cooperation is very perfect even with some international institutions.

OFAST, which is a French organization, has just left Guinea, it was there for the training of our agents. Two (2) experts had come to train my agents on how to detect someone who swallowed the drug.

Recently, OCAD arrested someone at Conakry International Airport, he had ingested the drug. After his arrest, we took out 1.5 kg of cocaine in his stomach. It is through cooperation. 

What message to traffickers?

First, we are here for the repression so we will hunt them down and bring them to justice. Next, we ask people to stop mortgaging the future of Guinean youth. One should not base one's opulence on the lives of Guineans. If you sell a gram and it kills, you are responsible. Finally, it is our children who consume, we must protect them

No comments:

Post a Comment