The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has stated that a Nigerian drug cartel is responsible for the importation of methamphetamine, locally known as ‘Mpuru Mmiri,’ to South Africa. ayokinews.com reports
This was revealed in the UNODC World Drug Report 2021, which is an in-depth investigation of global drug markets that presents a comprehensive picture of the COVID-19 crisis’s measurable consequences and potential influence on the worldwide drug problem.
According to the research, traffickers have established two significant transnational supply channels from Nigeria and Afghanistan to the Western Cape Province of South Africa, where the lethal narcotic is smuggled.
The cartel had been operating in Nigeria since late 2019, according to the report.
Several young people in the South-East are claimed to be hooked to Mpuru Mmiri, a popular street drug supplied in many of the region’s cities.
Many Mpuru Mmiri abusers can be detected by their shredded clothing and worn appearance, as well as a loss of appetite and weight loss, unusual sleeping patterns, angry outbursts or mood swings, and psychotic behavior such as paranoia and delusion, according to experts.
The UN report said, “There are also some indications that since late 2019, some of the methamphetamine found in South Africa is also being smuggled from Afghanistan via Pakistan and countries of East and Southern Africa to South Africa, particularly the Western Cape Province.”
“Thus, methamphetamine is currently trafficked into South Africa along two major transnational supply routes: one originating in Nigeria and used by Nigerian crime syndicates, and a second originating in Afghanistan that follows traditional heroin routes and is dominated by Pakistani drug trafficking syndicates.”
The annual prevalence of cannabis use in Africa is projected to be 6.4 percent of the population aged 15–64, equal to 47 million past-year users, according to the survey.
It was highlighted that West and Central Africa has the highest prevalence of use, at 9.4%, or an estimated 27 million users, owing mostly to past-year cannabis usage in Nigeria, where users accounted for 10.8% of the adult population, or 10.6 million persons in 2018.
According to the United Nations, people in treatment for cannabis use disorders are frequent in Africa, with half of those in drug treatment in 2019 being treated for cannabis use.
“On the basis of drug treatment data from West Africa covering the period 2014–2017, the majority of people (73 per cent) who were treated for drug use disorders in the subregion were treated for cannabis as the primary drug, which corresponds to a rate of almost two per 100,000 adult population being treated for cannabis use disorders in each reporting year.” the report said.
The UNODC stated that about 4% of the world’s population, or 200 million people, smoked cannabis at least once in 2019.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, commented on the actions of the cartel trafficking drugs to South Africa, saying that the agency was on the trail of the syndicate and that the NDLEA had shut down 18 drug laboratories.
He said, “We’ve been frustrating their attempts to export drugs from Nigeria to any part of the world through daily and/or weekly arrests and seizures at the nation’s airports, especially in Lagos and Abuja as well as various land borders across the country.”
“Beyond this, we’re on the trail of the cartels to shut down their pipelines – that is, the clandestine laboratories, 18 of which had been shut down in recent times by the agency. I can assure you that the Chairman of NDLEA, Gen. Marwa, is personally coordinating the efforts in this regard.”