South Africa: National Commissioner Khehla Sitole - Interpol 2nd Global Drugs and Illicit Substances Trafficking Conference

press release

Welcoming notes and purpose of the conference (Opening), National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Sitole, Interpol 2nd Global drugs and illicit substances trafficking Conference, Western Cape, South Africa

Programme Director

Minister of Police, General Cele

Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Mathale

The Secretary for Police

SARPCCO Police Chiefs

Representatives of other Policing Agencies

President of Interpol

Deputy National Commissioners

National Head: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation

The DPCI Judge

Chairpersons and members of the Local Organising Committee

SAPS Provincial and Divisional Commissioners

Interpol member countries

Representatives of international and national entities

Representatives of the Junior Management Core


Good morning ladies and gentlemen.

It is an honour to greet and sincerely welcome you on behalf of all South Africans, the South African Police Service and Interpol, to our beautiful country at this opening ceremony of the INTERPOL 2nd Global Drugs and Illicit Substances Conference.

This conference follows on the inaugural conference that was held in Toledo, Spain in April 2018.

Approximately 400 delegates from IINTERPOL's 194 countries, international organisations, the SAPS and South African Government Departments, are expected to attend.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are meeting at a time when the increase in drug use and drug trafficking continues to affect every region globally.

This phenomenon threatens to cripple society and destroy its moral fibre, particularly that of our youth, who are the future leaders of our respective countries.

The quantity of drugs seized worldwide daily, continues to increase and illegal drug trafficking generates enormous profits for the illegal trafficker, the crop grower, the petty dealer in the neighbourhood, the money launderer and those who support them, as it generates immediate income and makes it an attractive substitute for legitimate employment.

The purpose of this conference under the theme, 'Pushing new frontiers for more effective global drug enforcement' will therefore provide a fitting and significant platform to address new and emerging trends and patterns of illegal trafficking, cybercrime, virtual currencies used in the trade of illegal substances and narcotics trafficking, new psychoactive substances, the diversion of precursor chemicals. The methods INTERPOL and all law enforcement agencies are devoting to enhance international capacities to efficiently respond to this criminality will also be under discussion.

Allow me to take this opportunity to especially welcome the Minister of Police, General Cele and the Deputy Minister of Police Mr Mathale in our midst. We also welcome all the Members of the Executive Council, the SARPCCO Police Chiefs, the President of Interpol and all our distinguished guests and delegates from across the globe to this Conference.

We appreciate everyone's presence, cooperation and support in terms of the realisation of the need for solid collaboration between INTERPOL's member countries and all law enforcement to ensure that the world becomes a safer and better place in which to live.

As a collective, we all recognise that we are dealing with the greatest and most dangerous enemy of the 21st Century, the proliferation of illegal drugs and precursor chemicals, and that this requires a potent and effective global response to protect the world's citizens against this scourge.

Ladies and gentlemen, this global conference will bring together law enforcement officials, subject matter experts and representatives of key regional and international bodies. These stakeholders play a crucial role in the fight against illegal drug trafficking, to gather and share high level expertise and experience to best curb this type of crime.

INTERPOL's support to member countries in their fight against trafficking in illegal drugs, is expanding and aims at providing effective strategies and new capabilities to better address this rapidly and ever-evolving threat.

This significant conference also aims at enhancing the understanding of current and emerging drug threats globally, to develop improved national, regional and global responses in countering the illegal drug trade, to raise awareness of the role of crypto-currencies and the dark net as a marketplace for drugs and contraband, and to showcase South Africa and our law enforcement capabilities.

The South African Government has declared tackling the constant challenges of drugs, gangsterism and violence a high priority, and this conference further provides an ideal opportunity to discuss with our global counterparts the wide range of existing government reforms and criminal justice programmes that have been implemented to turn the rising tide against crime and drugs.

As I conclude, I encourage you to actively participate in all the thought-provoking discussions that will follow, and hope that you will experience this conference as constructive and challenging, leading to successful deliberations to fight and defeat the scourge of drugs.

Thank you.

Issued by: South African Police Service

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