Police move to curb proliferation of illegal drug stores, as 16 arrested


Security operatives have carried out a successful joint operation called “Umoyo” targeting drug stores and unlicensed medicine, leading to the arrest of 16 people in Lusaka.

Inspector-General of Police, Graphael Musamba, said during the operation on April, 4, 2024, the team seized illegal drugs and related items.

During a media briefing in Lusaka on Friday, Musamba stated that the operation was strategically designed to combat the proliferation of illegal drug stores.

He said it was meant to help combat unauthorized sales of government medicines, trading without proper licenses and associated offences within Lusaka.

“Notably, the operation led to the apprehension of 16 suspects across various police stations in Lusaka,” Musamba highlighted.

The police chief stated that among the suspects, seven individuals were arrested for operating unregistered pharmacies.

Musamba identified them as Thomas Zulu, jointly charged with Mwiche Novis Mulenga, Calister Tembo, jointly charged with Emmy Mumba, Melody Chama, jointly charged with Paul Chama and Patrick Mukuka.

“Furthermore, nine suspects were detained for conveying stolen property. These individuals include Smart Simukondo, who is jointly charged with Lameck Nyerenda, Elias Lunyungi, Chama Enock and Kauseni David,” he said.

Musamba added that Nosia Muhango, jointly charged with Mwengwe Mwila and Innocent Muwaya, jointly charged with Donald Nga’ndwe, were among those apprehended.

He said among other items seized during the operation included antibiotics, HIV test kits and injectable diabetic medicines, which bear batch numbers that coincide with the government-procured medicines.

“The pilferage of government-purchased medicines deprives the general citizens of accessing drugs from government health facilities,” Musamba noted.

Read More: Security operatives probe alleged packaging of fake mealie meal in Kamwala area

He stated that this poised a significant risks to public health, including the distribution of expired, counterfeit, or substandard medications.

The Police Chief said such activities undermined legitimate healthcare systems, erode trust and exploit vulnerable consumers.

“It is crucial for law enforcement to address these issues to uphold regulations, safeguard public health and ensure fair access to safe treatments for all members of our community,” Musamba said.

He assured that law enforcement officers were committed to combating illegal medicine sales and protecting the well-being of the Zambian citizens.

“Through collaborative efforts and continued vigilance, we will work tirelessly to maintain the integrity of our healthcare systems and promote the safety and welfare of all individuals in our community,” Musamba said.

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