The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Edo State said it has uncovered suspected cannabis warehouses in Ukpuje forest in Owan West Local Government Area of the state.
Buba Wakawa, the state commander of the agency, announced this at a news conference on Saturday in Benin City.
Mr Wakawa said the village had four large warehouses with 233,778 kilogrammes of dried weeds suspected to be cannabis.
The substance, according to him, has an estimated street value of more than N1.4 billion.
Seven people believed to be running the cannabis trafficking syndicate have been apprehended, he said.
“This is the largest single concentration of cannabis discovered by the command,” he added.
Mr Wakawa said while the quantity seized weighed 2,249 kilogrammes, others weighing 231,529 kilogrammes were destroyed by his agency.
The commander said the seizures represented a large chunk of the harvest from the previous cannabis planting season.
“They planted, watered, harvested and processed the drug only for us to dispossess them of their labour, because their action is criminal.
“The warehouses are located in the heart of the forest, yet we were able to uncover them based on intelligence gathering.”
Mr Wakawa said it took the combined team of NDLEA and combatant military personnel to overrun the drug trafficking syndicate and attributed the success of the operation to the enabling environment created by the new chairperson of the agency, Buba Marwa, a retired brigadier-general.
“We took delivery of two new vehicles presented to the command last week. This is the first assignment of the vehicles and it turned out to be the best for the command.“We are grateful to the chairman, and this is a clear warning that there is no room for drug barons in the state,” he said.
He thanked the 4 Brigade Commander, Musa Sadiq, a brigadier-general, for the logistics and personnel assistance that led to the successful operation.
He described the synergy between the Nigerian Army and NDLEA in the state as an unbeatable force against drugs and related crime in the society.
The suspects would be investigated and the case charged to court soon, he said.
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