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DRC: Police arrest suspected users and dealers of drugs

Drug known as bombe, made partly with residues from car exhaust pipes in DRC   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday arrested dozens of suspected users and dealers of a newly popular drug known as bombe, made partly with residues from car exhaust pipes.

Following a demand for action last week from President Felix Tshisekedi, officers paraded almost 100 people accused of using or dealing drugs at a police headquarters in the capital Kinshasa.

Alongside stashes of cocaine, heroin, cannabis and smoking pipes, the police also showed off small bags of "powder widely known as bombe", while a plastic barrel contained blackened pieces of catalytic converters.

Dust extracted from the car parts is mixed with "pharmaceutical products" to produce the new drug, crime squad chief Alphonse Landu told reporters.

Among the people arrested, some docile and others resisting, 20 were accused by police of storing or selling drugs.

"I've never taken drugs," 33-year-old Sandra told AFP after the ceremony, claiming she was caught up "in the sweep".

Another man, identified by his nickname "Whale", says he was "arrested in possession of nothing more than a candle".

Some of those arrested will face prosecution, while others will be sent to a centre in southeastern DRC where young delinquents are put to work in the fields.

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