The Akwa Ibom State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said it arrested 103 suspected drug traffickers in the state in the last eight months. The suspects were made up of 87 males and 16 females.
The command also seized 643.78kilogrammes, 90.4-grammes, and 98.1grammes respectively of cannabis; cocaine and heroine as well as 46 litres of a combination of alcohol and cannabis sativa.
Disclosing this while parading 12 other suspected drug traffickers, including two septuagenarians and a cripple, in the latest arrest, the State Commander of NDLEA, Mrs. Josephine Obi, said 16 other suspects were still on the run.
“Our investigations have revealed that the youths are made to undergo a period of apprenticeship for a year or two, and are settled or rewarded on graduation with two bags of cannabis Sativa to go and set up their own business in another location.
“The dealers continue to use the strategy of selling drugs at public centres like schools, restaurants, clubs, hotels and stadiums in order to avoid the risk of being arrested in their private houses. One Iniobong Archibong was arrested in Aka 1 Primary School and 7.5g of cocaine, 43.6g of heroin and 1.8g of cannabis sativa were recovered from him,” she said.
According to her, large acres of cannabis farms had been destroyed in Ikot Ekpene, Ikono and Ini local government areas of the state. She called on members of the public to support the agency in the fight against drugs by reporting suspected peddlers.
She explained that no fewer than 65 persons had been counselled, two persons rehabilitated, one under rehabilitation while five others were on the waiting list for rehabilitation.
Obi said the septuagenarians were in the habit of recruiting the aged, unemployed youths, minors and physically-challenged persons as agents for their drug activities while they stay out of sight to escape arrest.