The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Kano State says it has arrested 565 suspects in the past one-year in the state.
Ibrahim Abdul, the NDLEA Commander in the state, made the disclosure at a news conference to commemorate the 2020 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Mr Abdul disclosed that the suspects comprising 16 females were apprehended between June 2019 and June 2020; during various operations conducted by operatives of the agency in the state.
He said the agency had intercepted 7873.937 kilogrammes of illicit drugs within the period under review, adding that over 1.2 tonnes of narcotics were also seized in May.
The commander explained that the seized drugs included 4374.629 kg of Cannabis sativa; 699.213 kg of psychotropic substances, 87 kg of cocaine and 8kg of heroin.
Mr Abdul said the agency also seized a vehicle loaded with compressed suspected dried weed weighing 283 kg at Wudil on transit to Bauchi State during the COVID-19 lockdown.
While another vehicle conveying 300 parcels of compressed Cannabis sativa weighing 223 kg was intercepted on Kano-Zaria Expressway.
“A syndicate of drug baron dealing in cocaine was unbundled by our team, and a male and female suspects apprehended with cocaine weighing 100 gramme.
“We have so far secured conviction of 85 suspects while six other cases are pending before the Federal High Court, Kano.
“During the period under review; 34 regular clients were counseled and rehabilitated, while 723 other suspects referred for intervention,” he said.
Mr Abdul lamented that the agency recorded a surge in drug abuse in the state during the COVID-19 lockdown, noting that the lockdown had affected its operations.
He described shortage of manpower and logistics as well as inadequate accomodation facilities for clients, and lack of community engagement in the campaign against drug abuse, as some of the challenges militating against smooth operations of the agency in the state.
The commander noted that proactive measures were imperative to address the challenges and enhance its operations.
While commending the Kano State Government, community leaders, sister security agencies, media and other stakeholders for their support, Abdul called on the people to cooperate with the agency to enable it discharge its constitutional mandate effectively.