TANZANIA – The Drug Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) has impounded a confectionery in the Kawe area in Dar es Salaam and a tomato sauce maker for mixing components of cannabis in cookies and tomato sauces.

Aretas Lyimo, DCEA Commissioner General revealed that the two establishments were found to be mixing a highly poisonous type of cannabis called ‘tetrahydrocannabinol’ (THC), locally known as ‘Skanka’ in confectionaries, sweets, bread jam, and tomato sauce.

“We have established this during our recent operation during which we identified one biscuit factory at Kawe area in Dar es Salaam mixing biscuits with Skanka,” Commissioner Lyimo stated.

He said that during the operation they arrested 16 suspects, six out of them have already been sent to court, and the procedures to send to court the remaining 10 were ongoing.

Mr. Lyimo expressed panic, noting that the aim of doing this is to sell more of such narcotics secretly and to increase the number of drug users in the country, considering that such kind of foodstuff is kids’ favorite.

THC is a major psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and the component of cannabis associated with psychotic illness.

He said such kind of marijuana has a poisonous content of about 45 percent while normal cannabis contains between 3-10 percent.

With this high content of poisonous chemicals, he added, it can cause madness or make the users unable to think properly.

He said that cannabis is not grown in Tanzania after the authority successfully destroyed a number of cannabis farms in various regions, suspecting that it is rather imported.

So, we are currently strengthening control to ensure it is not smuggled through our borders as well as ensuring that it is not available in the streets. This goes in line with educating the public,” he assured.

The authority, therefore, cautioned school children to be wary of the foods they consume since they would fall into a trap of drug addiction.

In May, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Policy, Coordination and Parliament, Ms Jenista Mhagama sounded a warning revealing that some of the confectionaries and refreshments in the country are contaminated with illicit drugs to slowly intoxicate and spoil the innocent young ones.

She said in 2020-2021 the authorities seized processed cocaine in the form of jam, cakes, biscuits, and honey, and the culprits were sentenced to 30 years in jail.