As part of its fight against drugs, the Central Narcotics Office of Mali (OCS) has proceeded, this Wednesday, November 18, 2020, the destruction by incineration of several tons of doping products at Dio Gare (Kati). These products, whose market value is estimated at more than 430 million CFA francs for Cannabis and more than 1.2 billion CFA francs for pharmaceuticals, were seized during various operations carried out by the units of the OCS, those of the police, gendarmerie and customs directorate as well as MINUSMA during the year 2020.
According to SCO officials, the destruction operation stems from the application of Article 136 of Law 01-078 of July 18, 2001, as amended, on the control of drugs and precursors, which provides that the destruction of products is carried out in the presence of representatives of the judicial authority and members of the destruction commission.
An incineration of narcotics in the presence of the director of the OCS
For this reason, the present incineration operation took place under the direction of the Public Prosecutor’s Office specialized in the fight against terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and organized crime; in the presence of the director of the SCO; the mayor of the municipality of Dio and civil society organizations.
In total, 8 tons of Cannabis, 5 tons of pharmaceuticals, 2,493 Kg of cocaine, 106 doses of Crack; 81 doses of Off; and more than 5,000 Tramadol tablets were set on fire by the Central Narcotics Office of Mali. In addition to these, large quantities of cigarettes and tainted alcohol were also burned.
Most of the products were seized by the OCS airport cell, the OCS Bamako offices, the national police narcotics brigade, the Kati territorial gendarmerie brigade, and MINUSMA in Kidal.
Drugs in Mali a growing phenomenon
For the director of the SCO, magistrate Colonel Adama TOUNKARA, these seized products make more than 430 million CFA francs for Cannabis and nearly 1.2 billion CFA francs for pharmaceuticals, according to the estimate given by the Order of Pharmacists of Mali.
He also pointed out that the drug phenomenon is increasingly taking a worrying proportion in Mali. According to him, this seizure represents only a tiny part of what circulates in Mali.
In addition, Mr. TOUNKARA said that this incineration operation is an opportunity to raise awareness of those who still doubt the political will to effectively fight against this scourge. “Many believe that the products that are seized by our units are recycled. This is why we have instituted this activity on an annual basis to make our citizens understand that the fight against drugs is a reality in Mali,” he defended.
Regarding the activity in question, the Director General of the OCS said this operation is done with the means on board. “There is a strong need for a modern incineration site,” he said, before adding that these are harmful products whose incineration produces smoke, waste, not to mention the risk to the environment and surrounding populations.
So, an opportunity for him, to reformulate this need for a new incineration site. “We need an appropriate, modern site to be able to proceed with the destruction of these products,” he said.
Open war against drug traffickers
According to Ibrahim A. SISSOKO, the deputy prosecutor at the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Commune VI in the district of Bamako, narcotics are the only products whose production, marketing, and consumption are formally prohibited on the basis of Law No. 01 078 of July 10, 2001, in its articles 99, 138.
According to him, when individuals are questioned with sufficient evidence, they are immediately placed under a detention warrant. “Justice is intractable in relation to this scourge which is taking on worrying dimensions in Mali,” he said. Similarly, he said: “There is no untouchable in this matter. Penalties range from one to five years in prison”.
For his part, the president of the Malian association for the fight against drugs, terrorism and human trafficking, Mamadou YATTASSAYE, representative of civil society, invited the authorities of the country to declare an open war against drug traffickers. According to him, drug traffickers have a related link with crime in general, and terrorism and human trafficking in particular.
While he said drug traffickers should be severely punished, he said drug users should be sent to treatment centers for drug users. This is an opportunity for him to ask the authorities for the creation of this type of center, which does not yet exist in Mali.
For his part, the mayor of the rural commune of Dio, Daouda KANE, said that the fight against drugs is won in synergy with the support of the population.