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Mozambique and UN ink anti-drug trafficking deal

The European Union will approve $4.4 million to strengthen the fight against drug trafficking in Mozambican airports, under a deal formalized on Friday between Mozambican Foreign Minister Jose Pacheco and the regional representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Zhuldyz Akisheva.

A joint media statement seen by APA, Pacheco said “the agreement will allow synchronised and effective action against criminal actions arising from the operations of illicit drug trafficking networks, and other expressions of organised transnational crime.”

According to the Mozambican official, between 2012 and 2016, 27,000 kilos of cannabis and 5,000 kilos of hashish were seized at Mozambican airport.

Akisheva said the fight against drug trafficking requires the involvement of the Mozambican government alongside other SADC (Southern African Development Community) member states.

“Drugs and organised crime are interconnected with all aspects of sustainable development”, she said.

The representative of the European Union at the ceremony, Stergios Varvaroussis, said trafficking in illicit drugs affects both Mozambique and European countries.

“It’s a threat to our citizens, as even countries that are only affected by the transit of illicit materials end up with social and health problems that have an impact on development and stability”.

Varvaroussis added that the fight against drug trafficking “cannot be dealt with exclusively at a national level, since the criminals operate across borders”.

Experts say an estimated one tonne of cocaine passes through Mozambique per month, and the value of illegal drugs passing through the country’s airports and ports is probably more than all legal foreign trade combined.
Since Mozambique is essentially a corridor for drugs, rather than a major user, most of the money ends up outside, they added.

Source: Journal du Cameroun

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