Tanzania on Monday declared “war” on drug trafficking, announcing the upcoming questioning of dozens of officials and others in the East African country regarded as a significant international hub for the trade.
“No stone will be left unturned in our fight,” said Rogers Sianga, the first person to head the new Drug Control and Enforcement Authority.
Sianga said he had ordered the arrest of all government officials who last year allowed the importation of 21 tons of chemicals reported as pesticides, but which could be used to make drugs.
He did not say how many officials were ordered to be arrested.
In addition, Sianga said his office had a list of 97 people including politicians, businessmen, musicians and religious leaders who would be questioned in connection with drug-related offences.
The office was also preparing a list of judges who had not handled drug cases adequately to prepare for their eventual impeachment, the anti-drug boss said.
According to the U,S, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Tanzania is a significant transit country for illicit drugs, most notably heroin originating in Afghanistan and cocaine from South America, with a growing domestic user population.
Over the past two weeks, police impounded 544 sachets of heroin and cocaine as well six sacks of cannabis, police said.
Charges were also filed against 117 people.