The Edo Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, says it has impounded 506 kg of a dried substance suspected to be Cannabis Sativa otherwise known as `Indian Hemp’.
The Commander of the Agency in the state, Buba Wakawa, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen Benin on Wednesday.
He said the substance was intercepted during a special assignment code-named “Operation Narco X’’ on Wednesday.
Mr Wakawa, therefore, pleaded with the Edo government to assist the Agency with operational vehicles, to enable it to effectively counter the activities of drug criminals in the state, particularly the movement of narcotics during the festive season.
The NDLEA commander said that a notorious drug trafficker had just been arrested and was helping the command in its investigations.
“We have intelligence that drug traffickers are targeting to move narcotics this festive season.
“All we did was to identify and cordon off the major entry and exit points in the state.
“Interestingly, we intercepted two vehicles conveying dried weeds suspected to be cannabis sativa.
“The first seizure was a mini-truck that took off from Uzebba in Owan-West Local Government Area with 556 blocks of compressed cannabis, weighing 443kg, destined for Kaduna state.
“The second vehicle was a Toyota saloon car with 63kg of cannabis coming from Ondo state en route Anambra. The suspect with the Toyota car was apprehended, while the one with the mini-truck is currently on the run,’’ he said.
Mr Wakawa said that whereas the drugs were cleverly hidden in the mini- truck, the boot of the Toyota saloon was simply filled with sacks of cannabis.
The commander explained that it took the experience of the officers to detect the drugs intelligently concealed in a false compartment of the mini-truck.
“This is very encouraging as we discovered 506 kg of illicit drugs in just two seizures.’’
He said that the command was working very hard to sustain the mobile operation all through the festive season, adding that hard times awaited drug barons in the state.
Mr Wakawa noted that the operation was highly demanding and, therefore, appealed to Gov. Godwin Obaseki to assist the command with operational vehicles.
“The drug barons use good vehicles and the only way we can have an upper hand is to have sound, operational vehicles.
“The suspect being investigated will soon be charged to court,’’ he added.