National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has raised the alarm over a newly discovered drug, Khat, which has infiltrated Nigeria.
The NDLEA Chairman, Muhammad Abdallah, who sounded the warning yesterday, vowed to tackle drug trafficking syndicate over the introduction of the new drug into the country.
Abdallah, while calling on members of the public to be aware of the development, said that the agency was prepared to stop illegal importation, production and exportation of the illicit drug.
The chairman added that the agency made a seizure of 65.7kg of Khat between January and June this year. He said: “Khat is a stimulant flowering shrub growing mainly 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.
“In the first half of the year, 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 to 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 stakeholders to unite against drug trafficking cartels and work towards a crime free society. He said: “The support of stakeholders is crucial to the success of the drug war.
Drug criminals are only concerned about their mon-etary gains; we must therefore unite against them.” The Agency arrested 4,838 suspected drug traffickers comprising 4,490 male and 348 female within the first half of the year.
Drugs weighing 108, 883.52kgs were also seized between January and June. These drugs include cannabis 74,942.47kg, psychotropic substances 33,425.38kg, ephedrine 201.12kg, methamphetamine 179.74kg, cocaine 54.05kg, heroin 15.11kg and amphetamine 0.0138 grams.