A 71-year-old foreign national, Hans Arne Ingemar Petersson, was caught attempting to smuggle drugs worth more than $3 million through Robert Mugabe International Airport. The drug mule had hidden 3 kilogrammes of heroin in a plastic bag within one of his travel bags.
Arrest and Drug Seizure
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) confirmed the arrest made by detectives from the CID Drugs and Narcotics in Harare. According to the ZRP national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, Petersson was arrested on April 8th, 2023, after acting on a tip-off. The detectives discovered the plastic bag containing the drugs in a false compartment created in one of the suitcases.
ZRP national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest saying,
On 08 April 2023, detectives from CID Drugs and Narcotics, Harare acted on the received information and arrested a foreign national, Hans Arne Ingemar Petersson (71) at RGM Airport, in connection with possession of 3kgs of Heroin with an estimated street value of ZWL$3 400 000.00.
The drugs were recovered stashed in a plastic bag, which was in a false compartment created in a suitcase.
Rising Drug Use in Zimbabwe
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen Zimbabwe’s illicit substance use problem escalate, according to the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA). The country has recorded an increase in substance abuse, with commonly used substances being glue, bronclee, mangemba, cane sprit, marijuana, codeine, and methamphetamine (crystal meth).
Zimbabwe’s high unemployment rate, poverty, and despair have resulted in an increasing number of citizens turning to drugs for entertainment. According to the United Nations, poverty and drug use have a significant correlation.
In conclusion, drug trafficking remains a menace in Zimbabwe, and the government needs to enforce stringent measures to curb this problem. Citizens also need to be educated about the harmful effects of drug use and the potential consequences of trafficking them.
As Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi stated, “The law will take its course, and the ZRP will not tolerate any form of drug trafficking in Zimbabwe.”