THE Edo State command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has smashed a powerful cartel that specializes in inter-State cannabis smuggling.
A truck belonging to the cartel conveying cannabis neatly concealed in a consignment of processed wood from sawmill was on Wednesday, November 8, intercepted along Lagos Benin Bye-pass.
According to the state commander, Wakawa Buba, a total of three hundred and thirty-two (332) bags of dried weeds that tested positive for cannabis weighing five thousand one hundred and forty-six kilograms (5,146kg) was found in the truck. The estimated street value of the seized drug is fifty-one point four million naira (N51.4 million).
Three members of the gang comprising the driver, Ossai Frank, 35, and two workers, Azuka Ossai, 29, and Emenike Uba, 25, all from Delta State were also apprehended.
The suspects have owned up to the crime adding that the quest for survival made them go into the criminal act. The interim investigation also revealed that the truck originated from Owo in Ondo State going to Abi in Delta State.
Ossai Frank who is married to two wives and a father of four children said that this is not his first time of conveying cannabis. In his words, “I used to carry rice and biscuits but whenever there is cannabis, I also carry so as to get some money to take care of my family. I was pushed into cannabis business due to financial hardship. This is not my first time”.
Wakawa expressed delight over the crackdown stating that it was based on intelligence report and diligent surveillance by his officers. “This is a very successful operation. It was based on intelligence report and diligent surveillance. We have been monitoring them for some time and I am glad that our sacrifices have been handsomely rewarded. The command is prepared to counter the illegal activities of drug barons” he stated.
He also added that efforts are on-going to arrest and prosecute other members of the cartel in accordance with the NDLEA Act. Meanwhile, the three suspects will soon be charged to court. – Newsrangers
– Nov 9, 2017 @ 17:55 GMT |