TFDA, Police Seize 135 Million/ – Illicit Drugs in Eight Regions (allAfrica.com)

Police have filed 19 cases following an operation against illicit drugs and cosmetics carried out jointly with the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) in eight regions of the country last month.

TFDA Director General, Mr Hiiti Sillo, told a joint press conference with the police in Dar es Salaam that the drugs watchdog had seized illicit drugs and cosmetics worth 135.9 million/- during the operation conducted from 19 to 21 August, this year.

“The operation, dubbed ‘Giboia’ II (Portuguese word for python) was conducted in 243 areas in eight regions,” said the TFDA boss. The TFDA director general mentioned the regions as Dar es Salaam, Mtwara, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Mara, Mwanza, Mbeya and Dodoma.

“The culprits of pharmaceutical crime face being banned from conducting drugs business or suspension of their business licences, according to Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, Chapter 219 and 311,” he observed.

Mr Sillo explained that the operation was aimed at establishing, arresting and taking legal action against those who were implicated in pharmaceutical crime and that the operation also discovered substandard drugs in pharmacies.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Hezron Gimbi, said the operation was conducted in eight member states of the Southern African Development Community under the umbrella of the Southern African Police Chiefs Co-operation Organization (SARPCCO).

“The operation was conducted following deliberations during SARPCCO meeting in Harare in 9-10 April,” said DCP Gimbi, who represented the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Diwani Athumani.

He named other countries which took part in the operation as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Angola and Malawi. “This is part of a number of operations against pharmaceutical crime.

The previous ones include Operation Giboia I and Operation Mamba in 2008 and 2014,” said DCP Gimbi.

Mr Gimbi further said the operation involved different government organs including Medical Store Department (MSD), Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

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