Tanzanian singer Vanessa Mdee has been forced to cut short her ongoing shoot for drama series Shuga in South Africa after Tanzanian authorities summoned her to appear before an investigative agency at Central police post in Dar es Salaam Monday, February 6, to answer to allegations of drug-trafficking.
Others who have been summoned alongside Vanessa Mdee include: songstress Ray C, rapper Ney Wa Mitego, comedian and model Idris Sultan, Clouds FM media director Ruge Mutabaha, Ilala MP Azan Zungu, video vixen Tunda and singer Diamond Platnumz.
So far Central police boss has arrested 17 people, including actress Wema Sepetu, singer TID, Dogo Hamidu, Clouds FM presenter Babuu wa Kitaa in connection with drug-trafficking.
On Friday, Dar es Salaam Provincial Commissioner, Paul Makonda, released a list of suspected drug-traffickers including police officers, MPs, media personalities and artists, whom he had ordered to record statements at Central police post Saturday.
Dar es Salaam police boss Simon Sirro said the operation to arrest the suspected drug-traffickers began Friday.
Five people were apprehended on Friday, and an additional 12 arrested on Saturday bringing the total number of suspected drug-traffickers currently in police custody to 17.
Mr Sirro says a special unit, comprising the police and other investigative agencies, has been put in place to hunt for drug barons operating in Tanzania.
Despite government’s efforts to end the social ill of drug trafficking across its borders, several Tanzanians have been arrested in connection with this illegal business outside the country.
There are reports abound about a number of Tanzanians having been hanged after being caught with the drugs outside the country, notably in China.
Such a case of arrest made outside Tanzania is that of a Tanzanian woman namely MA who was arrested on July 4, 2015 at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Indonesia for trying to smuggle 32 capsules of drugs from Tanzania.
MA was examined soon after she landed in Tangerang by an officer, who became suspicious after noticing her body movements. In the examination, the officer found that the woman had 32 capsules in her body.
Another case is that of a then-28-year-old woman from Tanzania who was arrested on a charge of drug possession in Macao, December 19, 2013.
She hid 1.1 kilograms of heroin valued at $137,720 (KSh14.3 million) in her body and took a flight from Thailand to Macao. She said her destination was Guangzhou, capital of South China’s Guangdong province.
Following public criticism of government laxity in the fight against the scourge, Tanzanian authorities have vowed to push the envelope to curtail the vice of drug-trafficking.