NDEA confirms prosecution of two agents for conspiracy


17-August-2012

NDEA officials during the press conference yesterday

Speaking to the press at the NDEA headquarters at the commercial port, Chief Officer Niall Scully said the agency operates on a zero tolerance policy in relations to breaches of trust, and any agent who is found to have betrayed that trust, or in any way colluded with drug traffickers, will be removed from the agency.

He said both officers before the courts were recruited less than two years ago, adding that whenever there is reasonable suspicion against any officer, he or she shall have the appointment to the NDEA terminated.

“We cannot compromise the integrity of the agency,” he said.
He dismissed allegations that NDEA officers used high-handed methods in arresting suspects or seeking evidence, though admitting that in a few instances, “a minority could have gone overboard”.

He said that the number of complaints registered against NDEA officers boils down to just 30 in 1,000 cases.

“There are often spurious allegations and persons involved in drug trafficking are adept in the progaganda war.”

His deputy, Liam Quinn, noted that over the past year, the NDEA has made drug seizures worth R24 million, mainly heroin.

Just for the past two weeks, R6 million worth of drugs have been seized. This is an estimated R3.8 million worth of heroin, mainly on Mahe and R2.5 million worth of cannabis on two large drug plantations on Praslin. 

Mr Scully said that altogether there were over 500 fully grown cannabis plants -- two metres high -- and NDEA had been monitoring the sites since three weeks before apprehending suspects and seizing the drugs.

Mr Scully acknowledged that for a small country like Seychelles, drugs had reached alarming proportions. He confirmed that some 90 suspects in drug-relating cases are still awaiting trial.

But, he said it would have reached a greater magnitude was it not for the interventions of the NDEA.

Mr Scully said there are full-time teams at the port and airport with sniffer dogs. He added however that operations are very much intelligence focused.

He called on the community for support, assuring everyone that information is treated with a high level of confidentiality.

The NDEA officers declined to comment on two recent arrests of Seychellois nationals in Kenya for drug offences, saying they do not wish to prejudice cases before Kenyan courts.

Mr Scully said that in the case of a Seychellois male arrested with some Kenyan accomplices with a haul of R18 million worth of heroin, the NDEA had been instrumental in providing the Kenyan police with information.

In the second instance, a man, a woman and their 15-month child is currently also being detained for drug-related offences.

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