The International Police(Interpol) has revealed that marijuana on the Ugandan side of Busia is grown as a cash crop on a large scale.
Speaking to journalists on Friday, AIGP Moses Balimwoyo, the Police director in charge of Interpol and International relations said following an operation named ‘Usalama’ they found out a lot of information regarding the cultivation of marijuana on a large scale.
“During the operation, we were able to discover 36 gardens of marijuana measuring approximately 30 acres in Busia. We found out that marijuana has become a threat in Busia because it is cultivated as cash crop and on a large scale,” AIGP Balimwoyo revealed.
Police early this month destroyed over 50 acres of marijuana gardens in Bwaaya and Wawadoda villages in Masinya sub county in Busia district and according to officials, the plant was estimated to be worth shs200 million.
The Interpol director however attributed the growing trend of cultivating marijuana on the Ugandan side to the strict laws on the Kenyan side of Busia.
“In the past, marijuana growing was rampant on the Kenyan side of Busia but when strong laws were put in place that side, local had to run to the Ugandan side and do it from there where our laws are not so strict,” AIGP Balimwoyo said.
He however warned that there should be deliberate efforts not only by police but also local leaders to ensure they rid the country of such drugs like marijuana that he said have a great effect on the economy.
According to the Interpol director, the annual operation code-named Usalama was carried out between October 29 and November 5 and targeted stolen vehicles, drug trafficking, human trafficking, stolen and forged documents, trafficking in precious metals and trafficking of firearms.
He noted that 143 grams of suspected smuggled gold was intercepted at Entebbe airport, six people arrested for dealing in narcotic drugs and 106 counterfeit printing cartridges were impounded.
AIGP Balimwoyo said the operation will continue next year in all the EAPPCO countries as part of their efforts to deal with transnational crimes.