Drug trafficking scam unearthed

By JAJAH COULIBALY -

A SCAM  has been unearthed where charcoal burners in Chilanga Hills have taken advantage of their business which is conducted in the bush to start planting marijuana in the mountainous area.
The charcoal burners who have now started harvesting marijuana were selling the prohibited drug in the infamous Chibolya Township using bush paths through Lilanda to Makeni Bonaventure.
A check by Sunday Times in the area found some households selling balls of dry and ready to smoke marijuana to citizens in public.
In an interview with residents whose names have been withheld for fear of victimisation, said illicit activities were on the rise in the area due to its location.
The source accused some Rastafarians of being behind the marijuana gardens in Chilanga and urged law enforcement agencies to quickly curb the vice which was destroying lives of the youths in the area.
And charcoal burners refused to give any further information on why they were engaging in illegal businesses saying they were in it to sustain their lives.
Meanwhile, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) Public relations manager Theresa Katongo has warned the perpetrators saying they risked facing jail sentences once apprehended.
She said the commission was not aware of such activities and vowed to bring anyone involved to book.
“It’s something we need to verify and move in as DEC because as you know, cultivating marijuana in Zambia is prohibited by law,” she said.
Ms Katongo said DEC officers would immediately visit the area for investigations and apprehend the illegal farmers.
She appealed to other members of the public with information leading to the arrest of such people involved to report them to DEC offices.