from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – A 14-YEAR-OLD girl is among suspects arrested during the latest crackdown on drug trafficking in Nigeria.
The youngster, whose identity has been disclosed by authorities but is withheld by this CAJ News Africa for ethical reasons, has been apprehended alongside a 29-year-old man in the northern state of Kaduna.
They were allegedly caught in possession of 96 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa.
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested them at the Gonin Gora area of Kaduna.
The man has been identified as Sunday Bassey. His relation to the teenager could not be ascertained as investigations continue.
They are among no less than 11 suspects arrested in operations that led to the seizure of almost 4 tonnes of cannabis varieties in the Kaduna, Kano and Lagos states.
Most of the drug, weighing 3, 672 kg, was recovered in Kaduna, where five suspects were arrested during separate raid operations.
In addition to the above-mentioned pair, suspects Edward Emmanuel and Miracle Madu, were arrested in the Rido village of the state.
Investigations revealed that the pair’s consignment was moved from a southern state to Kaduna in a petroleum product bearing truck.
This is among devious ways criminal syndicates are devising to conceal drugs for the local market and smuggling between Nigeria and overseas illicit markets.
Among suspects is an individual who concealed 11,5 kg of the drug in a giant wooden sculpture, intercepted the consignment at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
It is believed the drugs emanated from Ghana and were intended for the United Kingdom.
NDLEA operatives at the Tincan port in Lagos also intercepted 24,5 kg of cannabis indica hidden in a used vehicle that arrived at the port along with three other cars in a container.
The shipment is from Canada.
The suspected importer, Cedrick Maduweke, is still at large. One of his alleged accomplices, Steve Isioma Adigwe, has been arrested.
At the Lagos airport, a freight agent, Ogunsina Damilare, has been arrested following a failed bid to export 1,5kg skunk hidden in foodstuffs intended for Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Retd Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, praised his officers.
“He (Marwa) charged them and their compatriots across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels in Nigeria while balancing their efforts on supply reduction with drug demand reduction activities,” Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, said.
– CAJ News