Drug Abuse in the Global Village

 Arrests, Convictions and Types of Offenses in Africa

Burkina Faso
In 1990, 39 persons were convicted for drug trafficking (U.N. 1990).

No information reported in Annual Reports Questionnaire by 31st December 1993.

Cote D'Ivoire
Drug offenders receive mandatory five-year sentences for consuming drugs and ten-year for trafficking
(INCSR 1993). In 1989, 845 persons were arrested for drug related offenses, including 289 for drug
consumption and 586 were sentenced.  About 4 per cent of the offenders were under 18 years of age (DAA

In 1989, 10,956 persons were arrested and 4,095 were convicted for illicit drug possession for
trafficking (U.N. 1989b).

Fifty one heroin trafficking related arrests, almost all in Addis Ababa Airport, were made in 1993 and
1994 (until beginning of October) (Mission 1994). 
      In 1990, 80 males were arrested for cannabis abuse, as compared to 13 in 1988 and 33 in 1987
(Pharmaceutical Service Department, Ministry of Health) (Report 1991).

In 1991, a total of 142 persons (61 per cent males) were arrested due to drug related offenses (72 in
1990). Most arrests (90 per cent) were related to herbal cannabis.  Most of those arrested were
foreigners (71 per cent), mainly Equatorial Guineans (MOD 1992).

In 1991, 47 persons were arrested for drug abuse and 31 for trafficking. Most arrests were cannabis
related (U.N. 1991).

None reported

See costs and consequences section above.

The number of persons arrested for drug related offenses has increased since 1989 and has reached 1,000
in 1992.  After 1986 the greatest proportion of offenses relate to cannabis, followed by heroin. 
Table 1 shows the distribution of drug related offenses since 1985 (HONLEA 1993). 
     Table 1. Statistics of persons arrested by drugs. 1985 to 1992. 
                                1985  1986  1987  1988 1989  1990  1991  1992  1993 (January-March) 
     Heroin                   320   1,101   278  171   160    241   367    431  158 
     Opium                    111       24     23      1       9        3       0       8    
     bis                         130      551   463  487   388    402   367    523 
     Other                      10        22     57    29     25      26     44       38 
     Total                      571    1,698  821  688  582    672   778     1,000 
     Source: Country Report of Mauritius to the Sixth Meeting of National Drug Law enforcement Agencies
     (HONLEA), Africa, May 1993. 
      Half of the prison population in 1992 were incarcerated with drug related offenses. The total number
of admissions to prisons for drug related offenses, which peaked at more than 650 in 1986, has
decreased to approximately 175 in 1992 (HONLEA 1993). 
      According to the 1993 Annual Reports Questionnaire, 25-40 percent of the prison population are drug
abusers, 5-10 percent of these are females and 90-95 percent are males (U.N. 1993).

The number of persons arrested for drug related offenses has slightly increased since 1987, reaching
10,000 in 1991.  Drug related offenses represent approximately 3.5 per cent of all offenses.  In recent
years, there has been and increase in foreign drug traffickers operating in Morocco; whereas,
previously, Moroccan traffickers delivered drugs abroad (Morocco 1992).

In 1990, 1991 and 1992, 496, 531 and 414 persons, respectively, were arrested for drug related
offenses, of which 159 in 1990 and 147 in 1991 were foreigners (Namibia 1993; HONLEA 1993).

NDLEA made more arrests in 1992, almost all drug couriers rather than drug ring leaders. NDLEA seized
more cocaine and cannabis but less heroin in 1992 than in 1991 (INCSR 1993). In 1992, 421 persons were
arrested for drug related offenses, of which 70 were convicted.  This represents an increase over 1991
(302 arrests and 58 convictions), but a decrease over 1990 (471 arrests and 103 convictions) (Nigeria
      In a study (1991) in British Prisons on 809 drug couriers (623 males and 276 females), it was reported
that almost two thirds (72 per cent) of the sample imprisoned for illegal importation of drugs were
foreigners.  Africans combined accounted for 35 per cent of this population, with the largest single
national category being Nigerians (30 per cent of the total) (Womenfolk 1994).

Officials had previously thought that cannabis traffic was limited to local and interregional
activities.  However, a new trend reported is the international dimension to the cannabis traffic. 
This observation was made following the arrest of a Rwanda national in Paris in November 1992, in
possession of almost 19 kg of cannabis leaves.  Official sources report only small drug dealers and
consumers who have been brought to the attention of the authorities following crimes and violence
committed while they were under the influence of cannabis (Rwanda 1993).  It is reported that persons
suspected of drug trafficking are not placed under surveillance because of the shortage of resources
(CMO 1989). 
      In 1990, 1,169 persons were apprehended and 424 condemned for the possession of cannabis.  During the
same year, 2 persons were apprehended and 2 condemned for the trafficking of cocaine (U.N. 1990). 
      A Rwanda national was arrested in Pakistan with 2.8 kg of heroin in her possession (Rwanda 1993).

In 1990, 1,677 persons (1,631 males, 46 females) were implicated in drug trafficking, of which 77 were
foreigners (HONLEA 1991).  In 1989, 1,165 persons were arrested and convicted for drug related offenses
(U.N. 1989). 
      Most arrests were related to cannabis (953), followed by psychotropic substances (632), heroin
trafficking (45) and cocaine trafficking (44) (Senegal 1991).

South Africa
In 1991, 7,011 persons were arrested for drug possession, and 11,502 were arrested for drug dealing.  
Most cases involved cannabis and methaqualone (U.N. 1992).

In 1991, 2,171 persons were convicted for drug related offenses (1,471 for possession/abuse and 700 for
trafficking) (U.N. 1991).

A number of Ugandans have been arrested in European countries for the possession of herbal cannabis
(Uganda 1991).

United Republic of Tanzania
Tanzanians have been serving drug related prison terms in a number of countries: 101 in Greece, 29 in
Egypt, 15 in Scandinavian countries, and 10 in Kenya (Pasape, J.E. 1989). Between January 1992 and May
1993, 103 arrests were made in Tanzania (EFDR 1993).

In 1992, 132 persons were arrested, 108 prosecuted and 68 convicted for drug-related matters.  Another
26 Zambians were arrested abroad in connection with trafficking of mandrax, cocaine and cannabis.  In
July 1993, seven persons were arrested for possession of cannabis (UNDCP 1993b).

See costs and consequences section above.