Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted a truckload of cannabis concealed with cartons of biscuits and cheese balls.
The discovery of the drugs weighing 3,542.25kg was made by officers and men of the agency in Ogun State, along the Odeda axis of Ijebu-Igbo in Ijebu North Local Government of the state.
Two suspected cannabis dealers conveying the drugs, Ihenacho Chinweuba, 27, and Uche Enuosa, 33, have been arrested and the truck impounded.
NDLEA commander in Ogun State, Mr. Bala Fagge said the shipment was meant for consumption in Ogun and Lagos States.
“A white Mercedes truck with registration No: Lagos KJA132XN was intercepted along the Odeda axis of Ijebu-Igbo, Ijebu North Local Government of the state.
“The truck carrying biscuits and cheese balls was found to contain 295 big bags of dried weeds of cannabis sativa weighing 3,542.25 kilogrammes.
“Two suspected traffickers were immediately apprehended and are currently assisting further investigation,” Bala stated.
Chinweuba, who hails from Nsiala-Ngwa Local Government of Abia State and Enuosa from Asaba, Delta State, said that they were to distribute the drugs in Ogun and Lagos States when they were arrested by anti-narcotics officers.
The cannabis was neatly arranged in the inner part of the long containerised truck while the outer part was filled with more than 300 cartons of biscuits and cheese balls to cleverly evade arrest by security agents.
The suspects, in their statements, blamed their involvement in drug trafficking to joblessness and desire to earn money for the end of year celebrations.
According to Uche, “I am a plumber but due to lack of work I decided to drive the truck. I have no savings and the only way I could travel home this festive season was to engage in cannabis business.”
Similarly, Ihenacho said he was desperate because he is married and has to provide for his family. “I am married with children. I have not bought anything for my family this end of year season.
“It was joblessness that made me to deal in hemp. All my hope rested on this cannabis shipment because I knew that if we were successful, I would have made my family happy this season.
“The cartons of biscuits were to hide the drugs but it is unfortunate that we were arrested and my entire dream is shattered,” he stated.
The acting Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA Mrs. Roli Bode-George assured the public that the agency has taken measures towards drug-free celebrations this festive season by cutting off illicit drugs supply in the country.
“Targeting criminal wealth and cutting off drugs supply, are some of the cardinal drug control strategies to ensure a safe and healthy celebration this season.
“Efforts shall be intensified towards preventing the supply of drugs to end users. This spectacular seizure of 3,542.25kg will definitely go a long way in eradicating drugs from our society. The agency is processing similar high level intelligence that will lead to more seizures in the days ahead,” Roli stated.
She added that the truck conveying the drugs will also be forfeited to the federal government in accordance with the NDLEA Act.
Long-term cannabis use can increase abnormally structured cells in the body, reduce male sex hormones, lead to rapid destruction of lung fibers and lesions (injuries) to the brain, reduce sexual capacity, and reduce ability to learn and retain information, among others.
The suspects will soon be charged to court and if convicted could get life imprisonment.