Maputo — Interpol intends to investigate drug trafficking in Mozambique, announced the secretary-general of the international police body, Ronald Noble, in Maputo on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters shortly after he was received by President Armando Guebuza, Noble said this decision arose from the need to strengthen Interpol's cooperation with Mozambique in the fight against the illicit narcotics trade.
Interpol will send a specialist to Mozambique to train a working unit that will investigate drug trafficking, said Noble. This specialist is expected to arrive in Maputo within the next few weeks.
Asked why Mozambican has been chosen for this operation, Noble said it was well known that the country was increasingly becoming a transit route for drugs on their way from Latin America to Europe.
Noble added that during his audience with the President they also discussed how to strengthen border security. He said that Interpol will help establish a sophisticated passport control system, which might help avoid the entry of known drug traffickers into the country, and could also play a role in combating the cross border trade in stolen cars.
This is the first time that an Interpol secretary-general has visited Mozambique since the country joined Interpol in October 1989. Interestingly enough, the visit comes just six weeks after US President Barack Obama named prominent Mozambican businessman Mohamed Bachir Suleman as a drugs baron.
The Americans are confident that they have a strong case against Bachir. Immediately after he had been designated as a narcotics kingpin, Adam Szubin, the director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) declared Mohamed Bachir Suleman is a large-scale narcotics trafficker in Mozambique, and his network contributes to the growing trend of narcotics trafficking and related money laundering across southern Africa.
Noble himself is a senior American law enforcement officer, who is intimately acquainted with the work of OFAC. In the mid-1990s, he was Undersecretary for Enforcement of the Treasury Department, which put him in charge of OFAC.
13 July 2010
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