The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Command in Cross River says it has destroyed 10 hectares of Cannabis Sativa (Indian hemp) farms in the state.
The Commander of the agency in the state, Mrs Anthonia Edeh, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Calabar.
Edeh said that the destroyed farms were located at Esok Odot community in Odupkani Local Government Area.
She also disclosed that four suspects were arrested in the farm while they were harvesting the illicit weeds.
“The four suspects are Mr Emmanuel Usen, 40; Mrs Effiom Emmanuel, 37; Mr Abraham Emmanuel, 18 and Okon Effiong, 27.
“Processed hemp totalling 194.8kg, 14.5kg of cannabis seeds and 14.5kg of fresh cannabis weed, with grand total of 223.8kgs were seized from the suspects, while 10 hectares of hemp cultivation were destroyed, ‘’ Eneh said.
She commended operatives of Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) for their support and cooperation in the successful operation.
“I must commend men of the NSCDC for this operation code-named `Fob Ikon-Ekpo’.
“This kind of synergy, if sustained, will go a long way in curbing all forms of criminality, especially illicit drug trafficking and abuse in Cross River, ‘’ she said.
The commander decried the continued activities of hemp cultivators in the state in spite of regular sensitisation and awareness campaigns by NDLEA.
She, however, said the agency was ready and will do everything within its powers to ensure that Cross River was not a safe haven for unscrupulous illicit hemp farmers.
Edeh appealed to community heads, chiefs and youth leaders to remain vigilant and always be mindful of who they leased their lands to, warning that “ignorance will not be an excuse when indicted’’.
According to her, anyone found culpable will be prosecuted as accomplice regardless of how highly placed.
She said that the suspects would be charged to court after investigation.