Chinese tech to help police crackdown on drug barons

Trust  Freddy Herald Correspondent

POLICE have vowed to use newly received equipment from China to descend on all drug cartels with the same severity the impact of the drugs is having on societies as the fight against substance abuse intensifies.

Speaking in Harare yesterday after receiving anti-narcotics equipment destined for the police’s forensic laboratory, police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said they would crack down on all drug-related crimes and not rest until all criminals were brought  to book.

The donated cutting-edge equipment includes the Raman Spectrometer, drug extraction and sampling kits, which have the capacity to detect in a matter of seconds class one explosives and narcotics specified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials from both Zimbabwe and China, including Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe and the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zhou Ding.

“Allow me to give a stern warning to drug cartels that the net is closing in and the Zimbabwe Republic Police will descend on them with the same impunity and wrath that drugs are ravaging our societies and destroying our youths,” Comm-Gen Matanga said.

“I am happy to announce that tonight I will sleep better, with less tossing and turning, knowing that police officers have been capacitated to win the war against drug abuse.”

Comm-Gen Matanga  said he was confident that the donated equipment would enhance the capacity of Anti-Drug and Narcotics Units at various ports of entry to deliver more desirable results.

“It therefore behoves us to enhance our capacity in detecting drug cargo at our ports of entry and exit as well as redoubling our efforts to bust local drug syndicates and distribution networks.

“I am thus confident that the Anti-Narcotics Laboratory and Analysis Equipment inclusive of the Raman Spectrometer and drug extraction and sampling kits will go a long way in leveraging our capacity to gather forensic evidence for the prosecution of drug related crimes.”

Minister  Kazembe challenged members of the public to also play a part in addressing the drug and substance abuse challenge.

“As we may all be aware, drugs are being manufactured and traded in our communities under our very own watch but unfortunately, some of us have decided to turn a blind eye, with some even deciding to be part of the problem.

“In my view, it’s high time we put our heads together as society for the common good of our country. Surely, the cost of doing nothing about this problem far exceeds the cost of doing something.”

He also described  the cutting-edge technology  provided by the Chinese Government as a shot in the arm for police officers.

“I am reliably informed that the equipment we are receiving today has the capacity to analyse traces of drugs as well as their components. In addition, this equipment can also detect explosives and hazardous substances.

“I have no doubt about the commitment of our police officers to eliminate the scourge of drugs. All they need are the tools of trade such as the ones that we are receiving today coupled with societal cohesion towards the goal to eliminate drug and substance abuse.”

Minister Kazembe said Zimbabwe and China relations had grown to the point where the two countries were deeply interconnected and inseparable.

“Your Excellency, Ambassador Zhou Ding, the people of Zimbabwe cherish your country’s unwavering support dating back to the war of our liberation struggle. Our friendship with the People’s Republic of China has now reached a point where we are inseparable.

“Today’s handover ceremony is yet another milestone in our quest to mitigate the effects of drug and substance abuse, which has reached unprecedented levels especially among the youths.”

Ambassador Ding reaffirmed his country’s commitment to supporting Zimbabwe’s National Anti-Drug and substance abuse campaign.

“Under the leadership of HE Chinese President Xi Jinping and HE Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, both of our two Governments have zero tolerance for narcotics and are committed to winning the people’s war against drug abuse.

“China has joined hands with many countries, including Zimbabwe, to enhance international anti-drug cooperation and address our common challenges posed by drug abuse.”

The China-aided Anti-Narcotics  project, the Ambassador said, would further improve ZRP’s capacity in drug identification, detection and analysis.

“For instance, the Raman spectroscopy drug inspection terminal equipped in the laboratory can identify narcotics, precursor and hazardous chemicals in just a few seconds without direct contact with the tested substance.

“The trace drug detector made with advanced lon mobility spectrometer technology, is highly sensitive, portable and easy to operate, and causes no radiation harm to the human body.”

“I believe that such powerful detection tools will help strengthen Zimbabwe’s capacity to combat drug crimes, and save lives. This capacity is also a prerequisite for Zimbabwe’s social and economic progress,” he added.

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