A 46-year-old suspected drug trafficker has been arrested in Edo by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Tuesday in Benin.
The suspect claimed that he sustained his family with illicit drug proceeds even during the COVID-19 lockdown order and inter-state boundary closure.
The suspect and another 33-year-old suspect were caught with 17 bags of dried weeds suspected to be cannabis sativa.
According to Mr Buba Wakawa, the Edo Commander of the NDLEA, the substance weighed about 198 kilo grammes.
Wakawa also disclosed that a Toyota Previa bus with registration number, Lagos AKD 118 AX conveying the illicit drugs was also impounded by officers of the Okada Area Command.
He said that the detection and arrest took place at Egbeta-Okada, Ovia North East Local Government Area of the State following a tip-off.
The suspect, who lives in Okada with his wife and four children, claimed that although he was a farmer, proceeds from cannabis was his other source of income.
NAN also reports that the suspect hails from Abi, in Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State.
“I am a farmer, but I also deal in cannabis to make ends meet.
“I am an intermediary between the seller and buyer. My commission is two thousand Naira per bag amounting to thirty-four thousand Naira.
“This is how I have been surviving this season. Though there is a lockdown, the drug business is still going on because customers keep coming to buy cannabis,” he said.
However the second suspect, said that he was contacted to convey the drug.
“I am an artist by profession and I also use my bus for hire services. (The first suspect) called me that he has some goods to convey.
“While on our way, we were arrested by NDLEA officers,” he said.
The 33-year-old suspect hails from Yache in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State and married with four children.
The NDLEA Commander expressed satisfaction with the arrest, adding that those who engage in drug trafficking will be apprehended.
“The laws of the country are still in operation, therefore those who traffic illicit drugs should expect the law to take its course,” he said.
The commander said that the suspects would be charged to court soon.
NAN reports that during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, drug traffickers continued to smuggle drugs in spite of the lockdown.
NAN also recalls that six vehicles containing 1,687 kgs of cannabis were also impounded at Agenebode in Etsako Local Government Area of the state.
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Source: News update