Hundreds of delegates from 101 countries, strongly represented at the Interpol 2nd Global Drugs and Illicit Substances Trafficking Conference. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Cape Town - Hundreds of delegates from 101 countries, strongly represented at the Interpol 2nd Global Drugs and Illicit Substances Trafficking Conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre with nearly 150 participants.

The delegates comprising of law enforcement officials, subject matter experts and representatives of key regional and international bodies which play a critical role in the fight against illicit drugs trafficking.

The three-day conference, under the theme “Pushing frontiers for the effective global drug enforcement”, opened by the Interpol President Kim Jong Yang who said the conference comprises of understanding the current and emerging drug threat globally while raising awareness on the role of crypto-currencies and darknet as a market place for drugs and contraband. 

"The envisaged outcomes including strengthening cooperation at national, continental and international levels and to address supply reduction of illicit drugs with the aim of curbing this crime," Jong Yang said the best way out was always through, he was highlighting the global police community’s determination.

National Police Commissioner Lt-Gen Khehla John Sitole addressed the delegates saying, “we are meeting at a time when the increase in drug use and drug trafficking continues to affect every region globally".

Sitole said this phenomenon threatens to cripple society and destroy its moral fibre, particularly that of the youth, who are the future leaders of our respective countries.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said his understanding of the conference theme is that "we have to go where we have never been before, in order to realise our goals. Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Police Minister Bheki Cele said his understanding of the conference theme is that "we have to go where we have never been before, in order to realise our goals. 

"South Africa hosting the 2nd Interpol Global Conference on Drugs and illicit substances gives me, as the Police Minister of South Africa hope, that there is a global force gathered on our shores to better understand the current and emerging global drug threats".

Cele said the presence of having 193 Interpol member countries gathered here, will leave attendees more equipped to act and enforce the law in the fight against the scourge of drugs.

"Our communities are at the grip of those who use drugs, those who sell drugs and those who produce drugs. Drug abuse is wiping away the moral and social fibre of our society each day."

He said drug abuse is cutting the lives of our youths short and stagnating their contribution to the economy. "Our Communities have had enough, the whole World has reached a climax point of enough is enough," Cele said.

Community Safety, Albert Fritz, welcomed the conference, “South Africa has both users, producers and traders of illicit substances participating on the global stage. It is therefore vitally important that we engage with the various other nations affected by this scourge to establish meaningful and lasting solutions. I welcome all delegates contributing in these vitally important discussions and solutions,” Fritz said.

From left to right : Paul Stanfield, Bheki Cele, Khehla Sitole, Seswantsho Godfrey Lebeya and Francina Ntombenhle Vuma. Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus
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