The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has destroyed 255 hectares of hemp farms in five councils of Ondo State, spokesman Femi Babafemi said in a statement.
He said 13 suspects were arrested while large quantities of the weed were recovered during the operation that lasted seven days in five forests.
The forests are Omolowo-Powerline, Ipele, Ala, Ogbese, Utte and Okuluse.
The statement reads, “At the Ogbese forest, a suspect, Olatunde Olaoluwa was arrested in his cannabis farm measuring 10 hectares, which was destroyed and burnt along with other cannabis farms spread across the Ogbese riverbank.
“The following day, 16th of Feb, the Agency’s Strike Force operatives stormed Ipele forest where they arrested Amos Mark; Luke Job; Monday Momoh, and Otunuya Waya while 19 hectares of irrigated cannabis plantations were destroyed. One of the suspects, who escaped during the farm destruction, was later arrested in his house.
“The Omolowo community in Ogbese area was next on Wednesday 17th Feb when one Mary Udonije was arrested inside a 10-hectare farm with 16.5kg of cannabis seeds and 4.5 kg of processed cannabis. Also recovered in the farm was an irrigation pumping machine with over 700 metres hose for watering the illicit weed.”
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In Ebony, Agency officials seized 243,520kg of illicit drugs last year.
Some 238 alleged traffickers were arrested, the agency’s Deputy Commander in the state, Mrs Amaka Ekwalor, said at a briefing in Abakaliki yesterday.
The conference was part of the agency’s week-long programme organised to sensitise youths and women of Izzi/Abakaliki Federal Constituency on the dangers of substance abuse.