Current Affairs
Drug hauls in Malta reach all-time record – what is happening?

Even though there is still two and a half months before this year is over, the amount of drugs seized this year by police officers and customs officials is already at an all-time record. Among the largest hauls: 300 kilos of cocaine found in a container at the Freeport, 12 kilos of heroin in a truck which had just arrived from Sicily and 70 kilos of cannabis resin which entered Malta on a powerboat in Ghadira.

Compared to a year ago, the weight of the drugs which were seized speak for themselves. In the investigations on drug trafficking, in the first eight months of this year, 112 people were arrested, with slightly more than half of them already arraigned in Court charged with trafficking.

Asked whether the drugs which were seized means that Malta is still bursting at the seams with drugs because it means that much more drugs are still in circulation, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dennis Theuma, strongly refuted these type of conclusions.

“No, it is certainly not bursting at the seams with drugs.  You might ask, but what about the amount of drugs which have been seized? Well, these hauls mean that the Police are doing their job. But will it solve the problem?  I believe that there are some problems which cannot be solved,” he said.

He said that drugs is a highly profitable business and there are those who are ready to take great risks even though Malta has what are considered to be very harsh laws and sentences . “The power of the people who become wealthy from drug trafficking comes from the victims who are not able or do not want to stop. They are the ones sustaining the profits and the market. If there is no demand for drugs, there will be reason to import them. As long as there is a demand there will be a supply. I’m not saying there are no drugs, because you find drugs in every country.”

The Assistant Commissioner said that he can assure the public of one thing:  The Police needs to keep fighting against drugs, help those who are addicted and guide them to services and entitites which work with drug victims while doing its best to stop more drugs from entering Malta, and prosecuting those who are traffickers.

“We will continue fighting and whoever comes after us will continue fighting, because drugs can never do any good, no matter what type they are. The only good which drugs do is to put money in the pockets of those who use it to become rich on the misery and suffering of others. And that definitely is not for the common good,” the Assistant Commissioner added.

Mr Theuma is clear about why the Police cannot relax from their vigilance. “We see drug overdoses and drugs can kill you in many ways – they can literally kill you, and they can kill you socially and emotionally.”

He said that drugs can be found in every locality and therefore the work of the drug squad is spread throughout the country, with places where young people frequent such as Paceville being the main target of traffickers.