Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have dealt a lethal blow to a cluster of cannabis syndicates operating in the Opuje forests in Edo state where massive warehouses and tents storing over 317,417 kilograms (317.4 metric tons) of the psychoactive substance were destroyed and set ablaze in a two-day operation.
A police impersonator, Omorun Theophilus, 37, who parades as a Police Inspector to convey the drugs from the forests to the cities and three others: Aigberan Jacob, 42; Ekeinde Zaza, 53, and Patience Ohiewere, 42, were arrested in connection with the drugs.
This is contained in a statement signed by NDLEA director of media and advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Saturday.
“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,” the statement said.
“Accessing the forest on Wednesday 18th 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 except the heavy investment losses inflicted on the cartels.
“In the same vein, the Agency on Thursday 19th January through intelligence received from the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States busted a criminal syndicate involved in the trafficking of fake USD currency in Lagos.
” During a combined operation carried out by NDLEA operatives with their EFCC colleagues, a total of $269,000 counterfeit US dollars were recovered from the syndicate at Oniru Shoprite area of Lekki, Lagos, where three suspects were arrested,” the statement added.