The chairman/chief executive officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, has promised to tackle drug trafficking syndicates over the introduction of a new drug into the country, known as Khat.
Abdallah, while calling on members of the public to be aware of the development, said that the agency is prepared to stop illegal importation, production and exportation of illicit drugs. The agency made a seizure of 65.7kg of Khat between January and June 2016.
Khat is a stimulant flowering shrub growing mainly in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
The plant, which is known as Catha edulis, contains two alkaloids, namely, cathinone and cathine, that act as stimulants.
When Khat leaf is chewed like tobacco, it produces a mild euphoria similar to cocaine and amphetamine.
“Drug trafficking cartels are gradually introducing a new stimulant drug into the country but we are prepared to stop them. In the first half of the 2016, the agency successfully seized 65.7kg of Khat. We are taking counter narcotic measures calculated at frustrating the activities of drug trafficking organisations. Officers at all border points, airports and seaports, are being sensitised on new trends.
In addition, operatives at the Special Investigation Assignment Unit, are also working very hard to prevent the use of courier companies in smuggling Khat and other narcotics into the country”.
The NDLEA boss urged relevant stakeholders to unite against drug trafficking cartels and work towards a crime- free society, saying: “The support of relevant stakeholders is crucial to the success of the drug war. Drug criminals are only concerned about their monetary gains, we must, therefore ,unite against them”.
Meanwhile, the anti- narcotic agency said it has arrested 4,838 suspected drug traffickers, comprising 4,490 males and 348 females within the first half of 2016
Drugs weighing 108, 883.52kgs were also seized between January and June.