Tanzania’s authority seizes over 3,000kg of illicit drugs in tea, coffee packages

DAR ES SALAAM: Tanzania’s Drug Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) has seized 3,182 kg of heroin and methamphetamine hidden in packages of coffee and tea blends.

The illicit drugs were discovered during special operations conducted in the Iringa and Dar es Salaam regions from December 5th to December 23rd, 2023. So far, seven individuals, including two of Asian origin, have been arrested.

Speaking to journalists in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, DCEA Commissioner General Aretas James Lyimo mentioned that the authority has never seized such a significant amount of drugs in any of its operations. He emphasized that if this quantity had entered the market, it could have affected a total of 76.3 users.

“This (drugs) would not only have affected Tanzanians but also other nationals because some were being transported to other countries,” the Commissioner added.

According to him, the drugs, consisting of 2,180.29 kilograms of heroin and 1,001.71 kilograms of methamphetamine, were obtained in Ubungo, Kigamboni, and Kinondoni districts in Dar es Salaam, as well as Iringa. He further explained that coffee and tea blends were used by alleged peddlers to facilitate the transportation of the drugs from one point to the intended destination.

The authority has issued a warning to peddlers, urging them to cease their activities immediately, as the DCEA is closely monitoring their movements to break the chain.

“The authority expresses gratitude to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, under the leadership of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, for empowering the DCEA to discharge its duties diligently,” Commissioner Lyimo said.

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