Sabahi (Washington, DC)

Tanzania: Heroin Haul in Tanzania Valued At $5.5 Million

The heroin stash seized Tuesday by Tanzanian police near the Dar es Salaam port is valued at $5.5 million (9 billion shillings), making it one of the largest heroin seizures in the country's history, Tanzania's The Citizen reported Wednesday (February 5th).

The eight Iranian and four Pakistani suspects in police custody are undergoing interrogation, said Geoffrey Nzowa, senior assistant commissioner of police and head of the anti-narcotics unit.

"As of now, we are yet to know where their targeted destination is," he said. "We are still questioning the suspects so we can identify where the consignment was to be ferried."

As the government intensifies its efforts to curb drug smuggling at Tanzania's airports, ports and now offshore, criminals have been coming up with new methods to transport their illicit merchandise, according to Deputy Minister of Transport Charles Tizeba.

"These drug traffickers now use locally made sandals (Maasai Sandals), text books, tea packets and boxes to smuggle out illicit drugs," he told members of the Parliamentary Committee for Infrastructure who were on inspection tour of a new terminal at Julius Nyerere International Airport, according to Tanzania's The Guardian.

He said in the past week, security officers have arrested seven people attempting to traffic drugs using new tactics. "Whatever tactics they use, we will defeat them. We cannot allow our country to become a trafficking route," Tizeba said.

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