| Azlan Othman |
THERE has been a 10 per cent drop in arrests relating to drug trafficking and misuse of drugs last year compared to 2013, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) said yesterday.
In 2014 the NCB arrested 610 people – 517 men and 93 women – for drug-related offences, while 679 people were arrested in 2013.
Of this figure, 88 per cent were locals and 12 per cent were foreigners. Some 57 per cent of those arrested were unemployed, 40 per cent had jobs and the remainder were students. With regard to age, 55 per cent of the arrested were individuals above the age of 31.
NCB shared that throughout 2014, they succeeded in confiscating nine kilogrammes of Marijuana and four kilogrammes of Methamphetamine, also known as Syabu. A small amount of synthetic drugs were also seized.
Despite this decline, anti-drug efforts continue to intensify to ensure that the problem is controlled. Integrated efforts against drugs have succeeded in maintaining the Sultanate’s image as a nation that does not produces drugs. Statistics last year showed that 153 arrests were made for every 100,000 people.
One of the trends of trafficking of drugs at present is to make a third country as a gateway and many countries have experienced this including Brunei Darussalam. With such a worrying trend, the NCB continues to strengthen control at the country’s entry points.
This initiative has managed to offset attempts to make the Sultanate a gateway for drug traffickers. Over the past two years, arrests at control posts including the Brunei International Airport and Serasa Ferry Terminal have shown an increase compared with previous years.
Actions taken by the NCB are in line with international convention guidelines and regional organisations covering various aspects of drug prevention, education, treatment and rehabilitation.
Towards making the country drug-free, NCB welcomed integrated cooperation from the public for providing information and expressed its appreciation to those who assisted the bureau.
The public can continue to contact 2448877 during office hours and the 8777444 hotline after working hours to report suspicious activities.