Fourty four (44) persons suspected to be dealing in illicit drugs in Anambra State between April and September this year have been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

According to the Commander of the agency in the state, Mohammed Idris, four of the suspects were females, The Punch reports.

Mr. Idris while revealing this development on Wednesday in Awka said 19 of the suspectDrugss were found culpable after investigations and would be prosecuted, stressing that the rest were referred to rehabilitation centres for counselling.

Mr. Idris said, “The agency confiscated about two tonnes of illicit drugs, consisting of 1,720kg of cannabis sativa; 0.210 tonnes of crystalline methamphetamine; 5,000 tablets of tramadol; about 10,481 tablets of Diazepam and 2.1 litres of cough syrup with codeine, among others,”

On the challenges around arraigning suspects as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDLEA commander expressed his regrets as the agency said it secured 11 convictions from previous arrests in the period.

He disclosed that the agency was restricted to specialised operations during the period under review because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expressing delight over the significant improvement recorded by the agency within the period, the NDLEA boss called on the people of the state to assist the agency in the fight against illicit drugs by providing information to the command.

He assured the people of the state of the command’s commitment to reducing the demand and supply of illicit drugs.