Ruthless drug gangs ‘are operating in Africa’

Posted on April 21, 2017 12:00 am

Last week, a Tanzanian court approved the extradition to the United States an alleged leader of a global drug trafficking ring. Those of us who believe such mules belong to jail applauded the move which came hot on heels of a similar move by northern neighbours Kenya which extradited a couple of drug barons to face justice in Uncle Sam. In both cases, drug mules were accused of smuggling multi-ton shipments of drugs like heroin and cocaine.They were accused of obtaining tons of heroin from sources in Iran and Pakistan and tons of cocaine from several countries in South America. In Kenyan case, the mules were accused of shipping the drugs to the U.S. and Europe and Tanzanian mules were accused of shipping drugs to China. What, however has emerged is that notorious Asian drug gangs and latin America, responsible for brutal tortures and beheadings in the global drug war, have arrived in Africa and are attempting to establish themselves as drug runners in the Sub Saharan Africa, a security researcher familiar with the matter told your blogger recently. Security sources says that members of the Asian and Latin American cartels are preparing to distribute ice, heroin and cocaine around African countries in concert with local gangs. “Contador you only need to look to the violence on the streets in South Africa and the thousands of people who have died at the hands of South African drug cartels, to realise how dangerous these groups are,” the researcher said.”They are now looking at other African countries which are doing well economically like Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria among others as destinations to facilitate their crime.” The revelations by security researcher come as several Asian countries nationals face drugs and weapons charges over a raid that netted millions worth of cocaine, heroin and ice, along with millions of dollars in cash and guns in unspecified country in East Africa. As of now i cannot share details as its not in public domain according to the security researcher. However, East African countries police are working with their counterparts in Asia, US and Europe, to counter the rise of the international gang.Senior cartel members in Kenya and South Africa have uploaded photos social media glamourising their violent lifestyles and some of them which your blogger was able to see were shocking and daring. According to him, social media has provided warnings to authorities to say the Africans are now producing heroin with help of Asian gangs. “Heroin has increased greatly in Africa.African countries are working very closely with the US authorities in regard to the latest trends of drug shipments in Africa because there is very strong intelligence regarding very serious drug importation. For example, Ecstasy sells for a much higher price on South African streets than it does in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa and Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar Es Salaam, with a single dose sold in Pretoria fetching five times what it could in Kenya or Tanzania.The Asian and Latin American cartels have been involved in a bloody turf war with rival gangs in Africa in the last year, turning parts of the continent into virtual war zones.

As well as ensnaring innocent Africans, the gangs war has seen rival cartel members inflict savage torture on one another as parts of African streets and suburbs descended into lawlessness. So far the brutal conflict has killed more thousands of youngsters across Africa, with 1,000 more currently missing according to data your blogger has seen from the security researcher.The problem is there is no deterrent with African justice system.Too many human rights organisations and activists saying criminals shouldn’t be locked up.African countries need tough tough deterrents to all crimes. Any person convicted of drugs supply, possession or importation should get life in jail.  No ifs no buts like is the case with South Africa where criminals are arrested today and tomorrow they are out. In researcher’s view, a person convicted of any other supply should get a minimum of 15 years in jail.Criminals need to know that there are no negotiations when you get caught, just tough actions on behalf of the good citizens of Africa. Even traditionally, community expectation is that if you do something wrong you get punished and that still happens in many rural parts of Africa. Therefore countries in Africa need to punish criminals so they think twice about what they are doing.Every African knows right from wrong so from Judges, human rights activists, politicians and magistrates there’s need to stop worrying about not hurting peoples feelings and do what’s right for the greater good of African society. Drugs are killing more Africans and causes more damage in Africa every year, yet some countries seem not to be bothered. Ice is an awful drug that according to the security researcher is actually being manufactured in some African countries on mass by home grown criminal syndicates with help of Asian and Latin American drug mules. However, as has been the case with South Africa, killing a bunch of people does not stop drug trade. Some countries like Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania have registered a pattern that shows the more drugs and more addicts, the higher rates of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. Drug suppliers do not offer clean equipment and that helps spread the diseases.Many African countries like Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa have very strict drugs laws including the death sentence, but they have more drugs and more drug addicts than those with less strict laws. Stricter drug laws do not address the problem alone. The researcher told your blogger there’s a much bigger issue than the laws, including why so many African youths want to use drugs like ice in Kenya or Nyaope in South Africa. In his view, as long as there is loads of Africans wanting it then the drug will always be around. He added that if Africans do not know what they can turn into when they are fully addicted then they will be more open to trying the drugs. After all, very many youths remain unemployed despite of having qualifications for jobs.More needs to be done for education and awareness about how addictive and destructive drugs can be.Also way more funding is needed for drug education in schools and rehabs and detox centres within communities all over Africa. No doubt there will always be extremely poor and desperate Africans who will risk getting caught to bring the drugs into African countries like the case of those mules in Kenya and Tanzania extradited to US, but how on earth making them face stricter penalties will do anything to address the real issues is going to help is a question your blogger will try to address next time.

Contador Harrison