The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said on Wednesday that it had intercepted an articulated vehicle loaded with 500kg of Indian hemp and destroyed Indian hemp farmland in Ilorin.
The agency also said that it had The Kwara Commander of NDLEA, Ambrose Umoru, who disclosed at a press conference in Ilorin, said five suspects were arrested in the process of intercepting the vehicle. Umoru said that the vehicle with registration number, Kano GWL 28XA, was intercepted on Sept. 25 on the Jebba-Mokwa expressway.
He said the driver of the vehicle and an accomplice concealed the exhibit with other items in the vehicle heading to the northern part of the country
“Based on a tip-off from a confidential informant, the operatives gave the truck a hot chase in the course of a motorised patrol on the expressway,” he said.
Umoru said that when the driver of the vehicle was finally apprehended, he claimed that they loaded the exhibit at Akinyele motor park in Ibadan. He also added that the driver, who was billed to deliver the hard drug in Bida, Niger, refused to disclose the specific recipient in Bida.
The Kwara commander of NDLEA added that the investigation revealed that the driver specialised in using the truck, which belongs to a Chinese company, to convey Indian hemp from the western part of the country to the North.
“The driver cleverly concealed the recovered exhibit in condemned rubber slippers and shoes loaded along with bags of garri,” he said.
Umoru said that the command also apprehended an Indian hemp farmer at the Kulende area of Ilorin. He said the suspect was arrested based on a tip-off and the farm destroyed with 12kg of Indian hemp recovered for his prosecution.
The commander said that the farmland was the first discovery in Kwara by the agency. He said the discovery was an indication that some unscrupulous persons may be engaging in illegal farming of Indian hemp in Ilorin and some other parts of the state.
Umoru urged residents not to allow Kwara to become one of the Indian hemp producing states in the country. He called on farmers, hunters and other residents to report any Indian hemp farm sighted, adding that the command would continue to work assiduously to keep Kwara drug-free.