Maputo — The Mozambican National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) on Wednesday destroyed in Maputo over half a tonne of illicit drugs.
The drugs were seized between June 2018 and this month in various parts of Maputo, notably the international airport, where drug carriers (known as "mules") have frequently been caught with drugs hidden in their luggage or inside their person.
The heavy drugs incinerated on Wednesday included 67.9 kilos of heroin, 23.3 kilos of cocaine and 54.2 kilos of N-Acetylanthranilic acid, which is a precursor used in the synthesis of methaqualone.
But the largest haul was of 377 kilos of Cathinone, the alkaloid found in khat, and which is used to create various kinds of "recreational drugs".
There were also 4.8 kilos of ephedrine, 800 grams of methamphetamine, and 15.2 kilos of cannabis.
The Maputo City director of SERNIC, Rainha Gamboa, said that, in connection with these drugs, SERNIC had begun 223 criminal proceedings, 123 of which have now been sent to the public prosecutor's office.
In all, there are 319 suspects, 286 of them Mozambican and 33 foreigners - from Tanzania, Nigeria, the United States, Brazil, Venezuela, Angola, South Africa, Namibia, Guinea, Malawi, Canada, Portugal, Ghana, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast.
276 of the 286 Mozambicans were caught with small quantities of cannabis.