Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Operatives of the Edo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Friday, arrested one Mr. Raymond Ojero, 40, for being in possession of 37kg of cannabis.
Speaking with newsmen in Benin-City, Commandant of the NDLEA in the state, Mr. Buba Wakawa, said the suspect,who is a graduate of Political Science from Delta State University, was arrested in one of the buses of Edo City Transport Service (ECTS).
He said the suspect was found with 48 blocks of compressed dried weed of Cannabis sativa weighing 37 kilogrammes, packed in two bags in the passenger bus adding that the drug has an estimated street value of three hundred and seventy thousand naira [₦370,000].
“A search operation was conducted and two bags were found to contain dried weeds of cannabis sativa.
“Preliminary investigation has revealed that the drug belongs to one Raymond Ojero who hails from Delta State.
“It was also gathered that the suspect bought the drug at Uzebba and was on his way to Onitsha where he intended to board another vehicle to Kano his final destination.
“The command is working on strategies to prevent the use of ECTS and other transport companies in drug trafficking,” Wakawa stated.
Buba said the suspect accepted ownership of the drug stating that he decided to smuggle cannabis because of the loss he incurred in his cattle business.
“I suffered a loss of half a million naira, my entire capital in my cattle business. As a result, a friend introduced me to cannabis business that it will help me to recover my lost money.
“I am a graduate of Political Science from Delta State University. It was my financial predicament that made me smuggle cannabis and I regret my action” he said.
He said the command has a good working relationship with the Edo City Transport Service and will continue to enhance strategies in apprehending traffickers planning to smuggle drugs through the transport company.
He also vowed to arrest other members of the cannabis smuggling cartel that packages cannabis into blocks similar to loaves of bread.
Commenting on the incident, Transport Manager of ECTS, Mr. Raymond Etoigbe said the company has a strong policy against drug trafficking and promised to partner the anti-drug agency.
According to him, “some of the measures taken to prevent the use of our vehicles in drug trafficking include an effective search of luggage at points of entry as well as the prompt report of suspicious luggage and passengers to the NDLEA”.
The NDLEA boss however said the suspect was still under investigation and will soon be charged to court.