ANGD: Record of success [Archives:2006/959/Reportage]

June 29 2006
Photo from archived article: photos/959/report3_1
Photo from archived article: photos/959/report3_1
Yemen celebrated World Anti-drug Day on June 26, with the Anti-Narcotics General Directorate (ANGD) organizing a celebration for the occasion.

Under the patronage of Minister of Interior Rashad Al-Alemi, the ANGD held a celebration to mark World Anti-drug Day in the presence of the Ministers of Health, Human Rights and Social Affairs, United Nations resident coordinator Flavia Pansieri and numerous other officials.

“The U.N. resolution to celebrate this day is considered an invitation and an ongoing message to all governments and nations worldwide to support one another necessarily, sticking together to encounter and combat this phenomenon as far as possible,” ANGD General Director Khalid Al-Radhi said.

He pointed out that until recently, Yemen was removed from drug problems. “This is because society was strongly adherent to religious duty and aware of the ethics of virtuous customs acquired through good upbringing,” he explained.

Al-Radhi clarified that new developments have made it easy for drug gangs and smugglers to spread their poison worldwide. “They take advantage of Yemen's location, the expanse of its coasts and its topography, which have tempted them to expand their evil drugs and transport them to the rest of the world,” he said.

Al-Radhi stressed that combating drugs requires a full-scale strategy; therefore, “Donors and concerned international organizations must support and back Yemen in combating drugs.”

For his part, Vice-Minister of Interior Mutahar Rashad Al-Masri noted the importance of family's role in spreading awareness among its members about the danger of drugs. He affirmed that the ANGD has made numerous achievements regarding combating drugs within a limited period of time. “Security authorities have arrested many individuals involved in selling and/or buying drugs,” he noted.

Statistics of seized narcotics

In the past, Yemen witnessed no increase in drug smuggling or trading. But in the past few years, the number of defendants and drug cases has increased remarkably, as shown in the table.

Defendants have received various judgments, ranging from the death penalty to prison sentences. Three were sentenced to death, 23 to 25 years in prison, one to 20 years in prison, two to 15 years in prison, 31 to five years in prison, one to four years in prison, two to three years in prison and four to one year in prison.