The Edo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has smashed a powerful cartel that specializes in inter-State cannabis smuggling.
Also 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.
He said the estimated street value of the seized drug is fifty-one point four million naira (N51.4 million), adding that 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 interim investigation revealed that the truck originated from Owo in Ondo State heading to Abi in Delta State, adding that the suspects have owned up to the crime with the quest for survival taking them into the criminal act. One of the suspects, 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, “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”, he added.
Meanwhile, the State Commander, Wakawa said the crackdown 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 said that efforts are on-going to arrest and prosecute other members of the cartel in accordance with the NDLEA Act, while the three suspects will soon be charged to court.