27 suspected illicit drug dealers have been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Bayelsa State Command, between September and early October 2023, at various locations in the state.
It also seized a total of 491.032 kilogrammes of illegal substances as it intensified the War Against Drug Abuse campaign in the state.
The state commander of the NDLEA, Matthew Ewah, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the command headquarters in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Tuesday, said the 27 suspects were made up of 25 males and two females.
The confiscated illicit substances included cannabis sativa (1.048 kg), methamphetamine (0.01 kg), cocaine (0.006 kg), tramadol (1,054 tabs, 0.03 kg), Swinol (109 tabs, 0.015 kg), Diazepam injection (four ampoules), Diazepam (636 tabs, 0.551 kg), Codeine (4 1/2 bottles, 0.7kg).
Ewah also said that abandoned seizures by the command were cannabis sativa (448.616 kg), tramadol (0.029 kg), Swinol (0.02kg) and methamphetamine (0.007kg).
According to him, the command recovered 19 rounds of live ammunition 9mm calibre and 125 rounds of live ammunition cartridges, noting that robbery and rape suspects were also apprehended during operations and handed over to the police for further investigation.
He said, “Top on the list is the seizure on the 27th September, 2023 of 432 kgs of cannabis sativa abandoned in a white Mercedes Benz J5 bus along SAIPEM Road Opolo, Yenagoa. The vehicle was also recovered from the scene for further investigation.
“It is important to note that the interception of 432 kgs of cannabis sativa is the single largest seizure in the history of Bayelsa State Command of the NDLEA. This seizure was made possible by credible intelligence and practiced profiling.
“Earlier today (Tuesday), our motorized patrol team seized and recovered 48kgs of cannabis sativa along the East-West Road.
“Also of note is the seizure of 19 RLA (rounds of live ammunition) 9mm calibre at Akenfa, Yenagoa and another 125 rounds of live AAA cartridges at the SWALI Market Jetty on the 14th and 23rd of September, 2023 respectively. The Command also arrested armed robbery and rape suspects here in Okaka Estate on the 9th of September, 2023. The suspects and the ammunition have been transferred to the Nigeria Police Force for further investigation.”
The NDLEA boss solicited the understanding and cooperation of the motoring public and commuters as the men of the command patrolled the roads.
He said the command was committed to the task of making Bayelsa unsafe for merchants of the illicit drug trade and called for support from well-meaning residents.