The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in Lusaka, Muchinga, and North Western provinces have arrested and charged 11 people for various drug-related offenses.

In Muchinga and North-Western provinces, the Commission arrested three small-scale farmers for unlawful cultivation of cannabis plants weighing over 450 kilogrammes.

DEC spokesperson Theresa Katongo identified the suspects as Paul Mwila, aged 43, of Mwaba Wankulungwe village in Shiwang’andu District; Gidion Robert Ndandamina, aged 45, of Ndandamina Village in Solwezi District, jointly-charged with Lemon Robert Ndandamina, 45, of the same abode for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants kilogrammes intercropped with maize plants.

Katongo stated that the Commission in Muchinga Province further arrested a 41-year-old businessman identified as Christopher Simukoko of Ntindi village in Nakonde District, jointly-charged with Mary Nalumbwe, 35, of the same abode for trafficking in 10.6 kilogrammes of miraa.

Meanwhile, the Commission in Lusaka Province arrested and jointly-charged a 31-year-old Zimbabwean national identified as Raymond Mutizwa and two Zambian nationals Steven Banda, 35, and Aaron Chabinga 31, for being in possession of 1,100 rand counterfeit notes.

Katongo stated that the Commission also arrested 19-year-old Derrick Phiri of George compound and Mwansa Kasonde, 20, of Chilenje for trafficking in 133 and 30 sachets of heroin, respectively, following an operation conducted in the two compounds.

She stated that all the suspects were in police custody and expected to appear in court soon.

Katongo further cautioned public couriers and transporters to avoid being used by unscrupulous individuals in the trafficking drugs.