18 December 2012

Namibia: N$5 Million Worth of 'Tik' Confiscated

A ZIMBABWEAN and a South African woman were arrested in Windhoek yesterday morning for being in possession of more than 10 kg of 'tik' (crystal meth) with a street value of more than N$5 million.

According to the head of Nampol's Drug Law Enforcement Unit, Deputy Commissioner Hermie van Zyl, this is likely the largest crystal meth bust yet in Namibia. Tik is sold at N$500 per gram in Namibia - where it is not yet as popular as it is in South Africa, said Van Zyl. The monetary value of the bust is nearly equivalent to the total value of drugs confiscated by Nampol during 2012.

The New Era newspaper reported on Friday that Nampol had seized drugs worth N$5,78 million during various operations from January to date, in which 905 offenders were arrested.

The two suspects of the latest bust were allegedly staying at a guesthouse in Windhoek over the weekend. Staff became suspicious when the women "spent a lot of time in the toilet", Van Zyl said. He did not reveal the name of the guesthouse.

Early yesterday morning the suspects allegedly requested guesthouse staff to take them to Sam Nujoma Avenue in Klein Windhoek, which is the main route into the city used by truckers from Botswana and South Africa.

The women were apparently on their way to South Africa.

The police were informed of their suspicious behaviour, and Van Zyl immediately dispatched a team to where the suspects were waiting to hitch a lift.

Ten kilograms of crystal meth allegedly was found in the women's bags.

Van Zyl said because of their suspicious behaviour in the guesthouse toilet, it was suspected that the women might have swallowed or disposed of capsules containing drugs.

When The Namibian spoke to Van Zyl yesterday, the two were still being searched and questioned, and there were also plans to take them for X-rays to see if they had swallowed drug capsules.

'Tik', the Afrikaans name for crystal meth or 'speed', is smoked in a glass pipe and is highly addictive. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) the drug was virtually unknown in South Africa as late as 2003. Use and availability is becoming more common in Namibia.

Van Zyl said the suspects are expected to appear in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court tomorrow.

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