From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Edo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has announced the arrest of a total of 262 suspected drug traffickers and seized 15,253.82 kg of narcotics, including cannabis, cocaine, heroin and tramadol in the previous year.
The Edo State Commander of the NDLEA, Mr Buba Wakawa, who disclosed this said those arrested consist of 180 males and 82 females.
He added that 10 vehicles used in smuggling illicit drugs were impounded within the period under review while 15 cannabis plantations measuring 11.82 hectares were identified and destroyed.
He said 86 drug-dependent persons were successfully counselled and reunited with their families while eight drug traffickers were convicted, adding that 220 cases were pending at the Federal High Court as of December 31, 2020.
Mr Buba Wakawa stated that the command recorded the achievement despite the COVID- 19 lockdowns and the #EndSARS protests that led to the destruction of the Edo State Command headquarters.
The commander added that various modes of drug concealment adopted by drug barons include use of silos, underground tunnels, cannabis warehouses as well as false compartments in trucks, buses and cars.
He thanked Governor Godwin Obaseki for his prompt response in providing temporary accommodation for the Command following the destruction of the State Command headquarters in Benin City during the #EndSARS protest in October last year.
He expressed optimism that the Command will perform better in reducing the problem of drug trafficking and abuse in the state in 2021.