CAIRO: Egyptian cannabis seizures more than quadrupled in 2006, the country’s top anti-drugs official said on 19 February.
“The problem is increasingly acute,” Anti-Narcotic General Administration (ANGA) chief Ahmed Kamaleddin Samak told reporters as he presented his agency’s annual report.
More than five tonnes of cannabis were seized by police in 2006, in what he said was a 336% increase from the previous year.The number of arrests, seizures and other operations carried out by the interior ministry also soared by 30 % over the same period, said the report.
“The global increase in consumption... and the proximity of conflict zones facilitating drug trafficking” are among the main factors accounting for this surge, Samak said.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Egypt’s strategic location “makes it a potential transit point for trafficking of heroin and cannabis from major production areas in South East Asia to European markets.”
Samak said his agency was due to present by June a 20-year plan to combat drugs by tackling money-laundering, launching public awareness campaigns and eradicating cultivatiANGA was established in 1929 and is the world’s oldest drug control agency.