The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Anambra says it has arrested a 31-year-old man, Vincent Chidiebere, for allegedly peddling hard drug worth N1.78 billion.
Addressing newsmen in Onitsha on Tuesday, the Commander of NDLEA in the state, Sule Momodu, said that the suspect was arrested in Awka on July 28 with methamphetamine weighing 25.2kg.
Momodu said that the arrest followed a tip-off that a shipment of methamphetamine would pass through Anambra from Enugu to Lagos.
“Based on the information, we were able to set up a team to search certain vehicles from a particular company. At about 11AM same day, we were able to intercept the vehicle carrying the substance and arrested the suspect,” he added.
Momodu, who said the substance tested positive, described the substance as “one of the most potent illicit drugs in the world which has a lot of destructive tendencies on the user”.
According to him, someone under the influence of such drug can be influenced to make disastrous decisions and can make criminals test the nation’s security to its limit.
The commander said besides the security threat posed by the users, the drug posed a health hazard in the community where it is produced.
He said the chemicals used for the production were highly toxic and could cause permanent destruction to the eco-system.
“The waste from the drug is more toxic than the extracted substance. The people around where it is being produced are likely to be exposed to cancer and other incurable diseases while children that are also born in the area are likely to be deformed,” he said.
Momodu, who expressed the readiness of the agency to fight illicit drug production and peddling in the state, urged the public to volunteer information that could help stop the illicit business.
Although, the agency had discovered three methamphetamine laboratories located at Nanka, Ozubulu and Obosi areas of the state, the commander also expressed the belief that more laboratories still exist.
He reminded the public that Governor Willie Obiano had pledged a reward of N500,000 to anyone with information on where the substances were being produced within the state.
“Most of the methamphetamine being produced are destined for Asian countries,” he said, adding that a kilogramme of methamphetamine was sold at about $150,000 dollars.
Momodu said that the suspect would be arraigned after the completion of investigation.