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NDLEA nabs 339 suspects for drug peddling in Edo

The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Edo said it arrested at least, 339 suspects (271 males and 68 females) for allegedly engaging in drug peddling between January and December, 2018.

Buba Wakawa, State Commander of the Agency disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Thursday.

He also disclosed that the organisation seized more than 47, 000 kilogrammes of various substances suspected to be cannabis sativa (Indian hemp) within the period under review.

The seizures he said include; 45,697.14 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa, 45.75 kilogrammes of Tramadol, 0.170 grammes of Diazepam, 0.100 grammes of Butazol, cocaine, 0.0196 grammes and heroin, 0.0103 grammes.

The state commander said the arrest and seizure had assisted in reducing crime in the state, adding that drug trafficking and use served as catalyst for most criminal activities.

He said the war against illicit drugs required collective effort in addressing armed robbery, kidnapping, ritual killing and cultism and other forms of crime to ensure safe and healthy development in the state.

Mr Wakama further disclosed that the command also identified and destroyed more than 32 hectares of farmland cultivated with suspected cannabis plants.

Mr Wakaka also said the command secured 38 convictions while 161 cases were pending in courts, 12 vehicles and three motorcycles impounded from drug traffickers and 263 persons counselled and rehabilitated.

He identified inadequate operational vehicles as a major challenge militating against effective operations of the agency in the state.

According to him, the agency requires stronger vehicles to penetrate forests where cannabis were cultivated.

The state commander urged stakeholders to concentrate efforts on drug control programmes, to drastically reduce armed robbery, kidnapping, ritual killing and secret cult and militancy in the area.