Regional Conference on New Psychoactive Substances, in Pretoria

 

A Regional Conference on New Psychoactive Substances was held in Pretoria, South Africa from 27th to 29th of November, 2018.

80 experts from Police, Prosecutors, Health, Forensics sectors from South Africa, Seychelles and Mauritius have participated in a seminar on “New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)”.

The workshop was officiated by welcome speeches and awareness introduction from the following officials:

  • Mr. Martin Ewi – ENACT Regional Coordinator for South Africa
  • Mr. Rey Bernard, Head of Development Cooperation, EU Delegation
  • Mr. Ebrahim Kadwa – South African Police Services (SAPS) Brigadier – Head of Operations: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation

The workshop has been organised by the two EU-funded projects, the EU Action against Drugs and Organised Crime (EU-ACT), and Enhancing Africa’s Response to Transnational Organised Crime (ENACT), jointly with the South African Police Service (SAPS).

During three days, the participants discussed synthetic drugs, precursors and NPS, current trends, modus operandi in its production and trafficking, retailing, risks and consequences.

During the panel sessions, experts from Poland, Belgium and Estonia presented challenges faced and solutions adopted in the detection at customs, identification of substances and its symptoms by street police officers, investigation techniques and internet NPS sales. Participants also discussed challenges to the criminal justice systems: NPS chemical analysis by laboratories, evidence gathering and judicial cooperation.

The new psychoactive substances phenomenon continues to represent a considerable public health issue. In Europe, new drugs (at an average rate of one per week) are detected, and the overall availability of new psychoactive substances continues to grow. Much of the supply of new psychoactive substances originates in China, and the globalization of the markets makes any region vulnerable to this scourge.