Mozambique: Police Dismantle Amphetamine Factory in Katembe

Maputo — The Mozambican police on Wednesday announced the dismantling of a drugs factory in the Maputo municipal district of Katembe.

Working with agents of the National Criminal Investigation Service (Sernic), the police found the clandestine factory inside a residence in the Katembe neighbourhood of Inguide.

The police detained four people - two drivers and their assistants of the two trucks that were carrying reagents from the port of Maputo to the factory. They also seized an unspecified quantity of the drugs which, according to Maputo city police spokesperson Leonel Muchina, are believed to be methamphetamine.

"You can also see here various reagents, and weighing machines", Muchina told reporters who visited the clandestine factory.

The police found a network of tunnels under the house, believed to have been dug to provide the means for a quick getaway. But none of the factory workers, much less its owners, were on the premises. It is suspected that they received a tip-off about the impending police raid.

Muchina admitted that so far the police do not have much information about how the factory functioned or how much methamphetamine it produced. He said it was run by a trafficking network that included Mozambican and Nigerian citizens.

"Dismantling the factory is not enough", he said. "We have to undertake a profound follow-up to find who is responsible for this". He said it would be "premature" to announce the owners of the factory.

According to police sources, a few days ago a man died, apparently from poisoning after inhaling gases produced in the factory laboratory.

To disguise the smell of the factory, the traffickers installed a poultry pavilion, so that the smell of chicken excrement would mask industrial smells from the laboratory.

This is the second drug factory dismantled this month. The first, in the southern city of Matola was producing mandrax. During that operation four people were arrested, two Mozambicans and two Chinese citizens. The factory had been operating for three months.

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