Bad Economy Made Me Go Into Hemp Farming - Suspect
The economic hardship Nigerians are facing has not stopped to push people into different ventures to earn money.
Sometimes criminal activities easily come to the minds of some persons who lack conscience and they justify their acts with the economic hardship.
Farming is one thing many Nigerians have ventured into at this time, but some also prefer to farm contraband produce.
In Edo State, one of such criminal farming cartels has been busted.
At least 34 bags of compressed suspected cannabis weighing 680 kg and 94 bags of dried weeds weighing 1,316 kg have been discovered in a warehouse.
The discovery made by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Ugbubezi Forest, Owan West Local Government Area of Edo was announced by the Edo State Commander of the agency, Mr Buba Wakawa.
In a statement issued in Benin on Wednesday, Wakawa said the substance with a street value of more than 20 million Naira was evacuated from the warehouse by a team of over 70 officers.
Two suspected members of the cartel working in the warehouse were apprehended and interrogated.
The NDLEA commander said that the warehouse was discovered following an intelligence report.
“Working on intelligence report, we successfully traced a major cannabis warehouse located in Ugbubezi forest in Owan West Local Government Area,’’ Wakawa said.
“We are poised for total offensive against drug trafficking cartels in the state.”
He said that the command had equally spread its dragnet to apprehend other members of the cartel and warned that there was no safe-haven for drug traffickers in the state.
Wakawa explained that the suspects, who claimed to be farmers, attributed their involvement in drug trafficking to poverty.
“One of the suspects, Augustine Egwutu, 45, said he was married with three children and that he used to cultivate plantain and pepper, but wildfire engulfed his farm and he lost everything.
“The suspect said that because he could no longer feed his family and his landlord threatened to evict him for not being able to pay his rent, he went into cannabis business.
“On the other hand, the other suspect Gabriel Orji, 38, told us that he used to cultivate cassava and plantain before joining the cannabis business because he needed multiple sources of income,” the NDLEA chief said.
Wakawa said that both suspects would soon be charged.
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In line with the NDLEA Act and if found guilty, in the suspects risk a minimum of 15 years imprisonment for unlawful possession of cannabis.