22nd January, 2023
By Jethro Ibileke
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have busted a cannabis syndicate operating in the Opuje forests in Opuje community, Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State.
Massive warehouses and tents storing over 317,417 kilograms (317.4 metric tons) of the psychoactive substance were also destroyed and set ablaze in the forest.
The Director, Media & Advocacy of the anti drug agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement to that effect on Saturday, added that a police impersonator, Omoruan Theophilus, was arrested during the two-day operation.
He disclosed that the 37-year-old impostor paraded himself as a Police Inspector to convey the drugs from the forests and other cities.
Other suspects arrested in connection with the drug included Aigberuan Jacob (42), Ekeinde Anthony Zaza (53) and Naomi Patience Ohiewere (42).
The statement added: “The Opuje community in Owan West Local Government Area, Edo State, is notorious for cannabis cultivation, where the cartels invest huge resources, cutting down economic trees of the forest reserves and cultivating cannabis on a large scale, running into hundreds of hectares.
“After harvest, they build warehouses inside the forest reserves and employ the services of armed youths to protect the warehouses 24/7.
“Accessing the forest on Wednesday 18h January took hours of Trekking by hundreds of NDLEA operatives who were ambushed with bonfire by armed youths on their way out of the Community the following day but were able to successfully Leave the area without any casualty.”
Meanwhile, the agency has intercepted and impounded a container-load of Tramadol worth N6 billion in Lagos state.
This was disclosed in the statement issued by its spokesman, Femi Babafemi.