Kogi State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) recently arrested 43 suspected drug dealers just as it discovered 56.6 kilogrammes of compressed cannabis (Indian hemp) inside a moving car engine compartment.
Appraising its performance since January, the command stated in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesderday that the discovery has brought the total amount of seizures to 2,827 kilogrammes of dried weed that tested positive for cannabis from the drug suspects in the state.
Presenting the score card recently at the state headquarters, the Commander, Alhaji Idris Bello said the location of Kogi as a link between cannabis producing states in the south and those in the north has placed more demand on the command’s operations.
He also noted that most of the seizures were drugs in-transit intercepted by his men on motorized patrol of major highways and link roads leading to northern States.
“We are compelled to intensify motorized patrol because of the activities of drug syndicates that smuggle drugs through the State. Most of the drugs seized are cannabis on transit to northern States. The command between January and May 2011 arrested 43 suspected drug traffickers and seized 2,827 kilogrammes of cannabis,” Bello said.
According to Bello, the command in the period also successfully convicted nine of the accused persons it charged to court while maintaining that other cases were pending in various courts. He said the latest seizure which was discovered inside a car engine compartment underscored the desperation of drug barons to beat security checks.
The suspect, a 39 year old man, Mr. Mowobi Anthony was arrested at about 11:15 hours along Ogori Magongo-Okene road on his way to Abuja upon thorough and careful search conducted on his vehicle by men of the agency on routine search.
“When his car boot was examined, nothing was found but the strong smell of the drug sold him out as 56.6 kilogrammes of compressed cannabis was soon traced to the engine compartment of his grey colored Gulf 2 saloon car,” he said.
Upon interrogation, Mowobi stated that the arrest signified a bad day to him having in the past successfully distributed the illicit drug using the same technique, “I have learnt my lesson. I regret everything now because what I have been doing is bad,” he said.
Reacting to the development, the agency’s Chairman, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade ordered that the suspects arrested will forfeit the vehicles used in transporting the illicit drugs to the federal government.
“One of the control measures against drug trafficking is the timely forfeiture of all vehicles used in the illegal transportation of narcotics. Certainly, the suspects will forfeit the impounded vehicles. In addition, they will be charged to court. This way, drug traffickers will appreciate the legal sanctions against drug trafficking and shun the criminal act,” Giade stressed.