The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Bayelsa State Command, says it has arrested 173 suspected drug traffickers and confiscated 189.877 kilogrammes of various types of illicit substances.
The State Commander, NDLEA, Abdullahi Abdul, said the arrests and seizures were made between January till date, noting that of the apprehended suspects, 127 were males while 46 were females.
He said the breakdown of confiscated illicit drugs showed that cannabis weighed 172.418 kg; cocaine 0.018kg; heroin, 0.152 kg; psychotropic substances, 17.289 and mixture of cannabis, 112 litres.
Abdul made these known at a news conference on Tuesday at the command’s headquarters in Yenagoa, the state capital, as part of the activities to commemorate the United Nations Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
He said, “Between January to date, this command has put in place strategies and resources to check the illegal sale, abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs an substances across the state. Among the strategies put in place are the motorised patrol teams along the East-West road axis to prevent the influx of illicit drugs in the state from neighbouring states.
“The command has also executed a series of raids (operations) in Yenagoa and other local government areas of the state which have led to the arrest of illicit drugs and susbtances and abuse between January to datre.
“A total of 189.877 kgs of various types of illicit substances have been confiscated. It is worthy to mention that in the same period, operatives of the command, in the process of execution of raid operations on black spots within the state capital and through motorised patrol successfully recovered two pistols and one live cartride. The suspects have been transferred to the police.”
Abdul raised the alarm that there was an increase in the abuse of a combination of various controlled or illicit substances in the state, saying that combinations were usually a mixture of cannabis, tramadol, codeine and diazepam mixed with innocuous looking soft drinks.
He added, “These mixtures have been given various street names such as ‘Kpoka’, ‘skwooahies’, ‘nwanokike’, ‘red wine’, among others. The command wishes to encourage members of the public to be vigilant of all such looking beverages as these cocktails are very lethal and have benn knwon to cause psychois or instant death.
“In view of the prevailing situation of drug abuse and trafficking in the state, the command has adopted preventive measures as an anchor to drug control prevention. In the execution of this, the Drug Demand Reduction Unit of the command carried out several drug enlightenment campaigns to primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, sister security agencies and services.
“The command has also partnered with the Director-General of the Department of Girl-Child Education, Government House in carrying out sensitisation campaigns and lectures in the different local government areas of the state on the issue of cultism, teenage pregnancy and drug abuse. The unit has also successfully counselled 66 arrested persons between January to date.”