By Naam Alkhosi.
Tripoli, 25 June 2014:
The Ministry of Finance has agreed to increase funding for the Customs Authority in its fight against . . .[restrict]smuggling, according to the organisation’s head of planning.
Speaking to the Libya Herald at a workshop on combatting drugs trafficking in Libya, Ezzeddin Al-Fandi, director of the planning department at the Customs Authority, said that a request for more money had been approved by the ministry and that “we’re looking into ways to improve our systems in order to be more successful in curbing the problem”.
The workshop, held in Tripoli on Monday, entitled “Customs: Reality and Challenges in the Fight Against Drugs” was attended by Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni as well as by Nuri Abu Sahmain, President of the General National Congress, the Minister of Finance Alkilani Abdulkarim Alkilani, EU diplomats, members of civil society and staff from the Customs Authority.
Opening the workshop, the General Director of the Customs Authority, Brigadier General Mustafa Azzam Turjman, called on all security agencies to join the effort to eradicate Libya’s growing drug trafficking problem.
Other specialists presented reports on the issue including Zuhair Al-Kikli who discussed Libya’s history in combating the problem. Captain Marwan Mansour Alaperc gave an in-depth explanation of the border control issues in southeastern Libya.
According to Turjman, the Customs Authority is currently working in collaboration with Libya’s immediate neighbours to reduce both drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
A cleric, Sheikh Abdul Basit Ighuila spoke about the ways faith could be used to challenge drug use.
Professor Ramzi Mohamed Abu Ktaif and Captain Emad Al-Deeb discussed the media’s role in facing the drug threat.
Finally, the director of the National Police Department on behalf of the fight against drugs, Laila Akil Bashir, gave a presentation on the role of drugs in the spread of AIDS in Libya.
Those attending were given the opportunity to present recommendations to the Customs Authority as to possible solutions to the drug trafficking problem.