20th January, 2021
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
The Edo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has said it arrested a total of 262 suspected drug traffickers in 2020.
Those arrested were made up of 180 male and 82 female.
The Command also seized 15,253.82kg of narcotics, including cannabis, cocaine, heroin and tramadol.
The State Commander of the NDLEA, Mr. Buba Wakawa, disclosed this in Benin, while speaking on the operational scorecard of the Command last year.
He added that this achievement was made possible despite the Covid-19 lockdown and the #EndSARS protest that led to the destruction of the State Command headquarters.
He disclosed that 10 vehicles used in smuggling illicit drugs were impounded and 15 cannabis plantations measuring 11.82 hectares, were identified and destroyed within the period under review.
In addition, 86 drug-dependent persons were successfully counselled and reunited with their families.
However, eight drug traffickers were convicted, while 220 cases were pending at the Federal High Court, as at December 31, 2020.
Wakawa noted that the various modes of drug concealment now adopted by drug barons, include the use of silos, underground tunnels, cannabis, warehouses as well as false compartments in trucks, buses and cars.
He, however, thanked Governor Godwin Obaseki, for his prompt response in providing a temporary accommodation for the Command, following the destruction of its office during the #EndSARS protest in October last year.
He expressed optimism that the Command will perform better in reducing the problem of drug trafficking and abuse in the state this new year.