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‘Indian hemp cultivation not rampant in Nkhotakota’

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Malawi police in Dwangwa have said cultivation of Indian hemp in Nkhotakota is not as serious as people allege but the district is only used as a route for traffickers.

When asked to comment on the severity of Indian hemp cultivation in the Central Region district, Nkhunga Police Station spokesperson Austin Kaunda said Mzimba is the main producer and supplier of Indian hemp not Nkhotakota.

“We have records that many traffickers are not from Nkhotakota but from other districts like Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mangochi, Balaka and Salima who pass through from Mzimba where they buy the hemp.

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“So, what I can say is that the problem is serious in terms of trafficking because Nkhotakota is used as a route,” he said.

Kaunda also said this year alone police have confiscated 5,238 kilogrammes of Indian hemp following the arrests of 13 traffickers.

The figure is much higher compared to 509 kilogrammes of marijuana police confiscated the whole of last year after arresting 24 people.

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The police publicist commended the good working relationship between police and the public.

“We arrest traffickers because of tips from members of the general public and we ask them to continue giving us information,” Kaunda said.

He further said police are aware that small numbers of people are still cultivating the illicit drug in Nkhotakota’s northern part along Lupachi River which borders Mzimba.

“We have had operations to uproot hemp in the past. In 2011 we carried out a joint operation with fellow officers from headquarters where we uprooted about four acres of Indian hemp along Lupachi River. Plans are there to carry out another operation but we are failing due to financial constraints,” said Kaunda.

Soaring number of cases of people caught trafficking Indian hemp from Nkhotakota prompted people to conclude that the district is the country’s largest grower of Indian hemp.

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