Cabo Delgado: Military find heroin in building previously occupied by insurgents – DW

FILE PHOTO - For illustration purposes only. [File photo: DW]

Mozambican authorities have announced that they have seized 28 kilograms of heroin in areas previously controlled by insurgent groups in Cabo Delgado.

Authorities suspect the drug was being trafficked by the insurgents, and the UN Office for Drugs and Organized Crime indicates drug trafficking as one possible source of the conflict in the Mozambican province.

The drugs were part of a total of 250 kilos of narcotics incinerated on Saturday in Pemba, the provincial capital, spokesman for the Provincial Attorney of Cabo Delgado, Angelo Sueta, is quoted by ‘O País’ as saying.

“The heroin was seized by the Defence and Security Forces in one of the buildings that was occupied by the terrorists. The owners of the drug fled during the fighting, but a criminal case has nevertheless been opened against unidentified individuals,” Sueta said.

Considering the amount seized, “one can presume that it was not for consumption, so perhaps it was for trafficking”, he added.

The province of Cabo Delgado has been identified by several international reports as a corridor of heroin from Asia and destined primarily for Europe and the USA.

The drug incinerated on Saturday also includes 24 kilos of cocaine seized at sea off Pemba, 179 kilograms of ephedrine seized in the provincial capital’s Cariaco neighborhood, and 22 kilograms of cannabis.

In just one year, law enforcement officials have incinerated nearly one ton of drugs in Cabo Delgado, while in June, police seized more than 400 kilograms of heroin in Quelimane, Zambezia province.

Cabo Delgado is rich in natural gas, but has been terrorized since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

The conflict has already caused more than 3,100 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project, and more than 817,000 displaced, according to Mozambican authorities

Since July, an offensive by government troops, with the support of Rwanda and later the Southern African Development Community, has recovered several areas from rebel occupation, including Mocímboa da Praia, which had been occupied since August, 2020.

Source: Deutsche Welle

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