The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 17 suspects in different parts of Kwara State allegedly trying to smuggle codeine to other destinations for sale.
The federal government had banned the production and distribution of codeine in Nigeria following a BBC documentary on widespread addiction to the product in the country.
Addressing journalists on Thursday in Ilorin, the state Commander of the NDLEA, Onah Ogilegwu, said the suspects were arrested with assorted drugs in different locations across the state.
He said: “13 suspects were arrested at various locations by the Air Force authority in Ilorin and transferred to the command with assorted hard drug.”
Mr Ogilegwu said the command on Saturday nabbed another two suspects with 12 cartons containing 600 bottles of codeine.
“The two suspects were in the taxi trying to travel down north with the drug but my men intercepted their car and while checking they discovered 12 cartons of codeine.
“They confessed that they are travelling to Kaduna with the drugs to deliver them to a man.
“They said that they have been involved and making money from the business for a very long time.”
He added that on Tuesday another two suspects were arrested along Tanke area, Ilorin, by personnel of the agency.
“Surveillance was placed in the area following a tip off. Men of the command swung into action and the two suspects arrested are presently undergoing investigation,” he explained.
Mr Ogilegwu charged drug sellers and producers to abide by directives to submit banned substances in order to receive commendation from the command,” adding that failure to do so will lead to arrest of culprits.
He added that other assorted drugs like Tramadol should be placed on poison box by the pharmacists and should be sold strictly on medical doctor’s recommendation.
“Any other vendor found selling drugs aside licensed pharmacists will face the wrath of the law when arrested,” he warned.
He also urged the Federal Government to fast track a bill to ban production, sales and distribution of the drugs.
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