Zambia installs body scanners at airports

By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia

Zambia’s Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has installed electronic body scanners at major airports in a bid to enhance its detection of illicit drug and illegal items being smuggled into the country.

The scanners have been installed at Kenneth Kaunda, Harry Mwanga Nkumbula and Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe international airports. The Zambian government procured the scanners last year at a cost of K2 million.

Home Affairs minister Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula said the Zambian government bought the scanners during the preparation for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference that was last year co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“The purchase of the scanners bears witness of my government’s resolve and commitment to combat drug trafficking and organized crime,” said Simbyakula.

DEC Commissioner Alita Mbahwe said Zambia had become a transit point and consumer of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin being smuggled into the country through air, water and road transport.

Mbahwe said DEC last year arrested nine people at Zambia’s airports for trafficking mostly in cocaine, heroin and ephedrine.

She said the mode of concealing such illicit drugs was becoming more sophisticated and, therefore, required advanced methods of detecting them.

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