AKPAN UMOH, Uyo
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested 272 suspects and seized 339.818kg of hard drugs within 2021 in Akwa Ibom State.
The state Commander of NDLEA, Mrs Obot Bassey, stated this while briefing newsmen in Uyo on Friday on the activities of the agency.
Bassey said the suspects comprised 233 males and 39 females, while the hard drugs seized were 311.2477kg of cannabis Sativa, 1.2581kg of cocaine, 0.2882kg heroin, 0.0545kg of meth and 26.970kg of psychotropic substance.
She said that the command also convicted 39 persons made up of 37 males and two females with the maximum sentence being 7 years imprisonment.
“Of spectacular note was the seizure of 1.2kg of cocaine in Akwa Ibom State being the highest seizure in 18 years.
“The hard drug prevalent in the state is cannabis Sativa, locally referred to as ‘ikongekpo’. There are also cases of the abuse of psychotropic substances such as tramadol, diazepam, codeine, Rohypnol, exol 5 among others,” Bassey said.
She warned that the ingestion of these drugs increases the amount of chemicals known as dopamine in the brain which distorts reality, gives poor judgment, and can even result in mental illness.
Bassey explained that crystal meth addiction was the most difficult to treat, that it causes irregular heartbeats, irregular body temperature, violent behaviour and even death.
The commander said that the agency would continue to ensure that the state is free from hard drugs and warned drug addicts to desist from such acts, as the command will not spare anyone caught.