By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 5 November 2013:
Libya’s drug problem is on the rise with street prices plummeting since the revolution, according . . .[restrict]to head of the Supreme Security Committee (SSC), Hashim Bishr.
“Some kinds of tablets during the Qaddafi regime used to sell for LD 13 per tablet and now the same tablet is being sold for only LD 1,” Bishr told the Libya Herald. Other drugs, he said, could be purchased for as little as a quarter of a dinar per tablet.
He did not specify which drugs. The pharmaceutical drug Tramadol – an opioid analgesic mainly used as a painkiller – is one type that is frequently sold on the streets. Although commonly prescribed for various ailments in many countries, Tramodol is illegal in Libya. Two million tablets were seized at the Egyptian border last month and, in September, Egyptian border guards stopped a lorry carrying over four million.
Some security personnel appear to be involved in smuggling drugs across Libya’s land borders. “Drugs are now coming across the border and though checkpoints without difficulty,” Bishr said. “As I have said before, Libya Shield, SSC cars and military police cars sometimes carry the drugs.” He added that these cars, bearing official badges passed easily through checkpoints: “Because no-one stops and checks them, it is easy to cross the borders without being searched.”
Drug-dealers seemed to now be targeting Libya, Bishr said. “There are some people who are just thinking about making money and others are really thinking to try and saturate the country with drugs.” He added that some anti-drug experts had told him that some of the biggest drug dealers outside the country wanted to make Libya a base, from where they could re-export drugs to neighbouring countries.
“That’s why we now find drugs in Libya are cheaper than any country, cheaper even than the countries of origin,” Bishr said. “I am sure there are some people working to saturate the market with drugs.” [/restrict]