…As Violent crimes increase in South Africa***
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ondo State Command, said that it had arrested five suspects dealing in illicit drugs and seized 1, 292 kilograms of cannabis sativa, otherwise called marijuana, and its seeds.
Mr Haruna Gagara, the State Commander, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday.
According to him, 711.5kg of cannabis seeds were recovered from a forest in Ago Oyibo area of Ogbese, Akure North Local Government Area.
Gagara said that the seizure had thwarted the mass cultivation of an estimated 250 hectares of cannabis sativa farmland in Ondo state.
“This large cultivation, if allowed, would produce an estimated 443,000 kilograms of cannabis,” he said.
The commander said that some officers of NDLEA stormed the forest on Feb. 18, following a tip-off.
Gagara also said that the operatives had earlier intercepted a vehicle loaded of 580.5kg of the illicit drug along Ogbese-Owo Road, that was heading to Kano State.
“Let me seize this opportunity to warn those who indulge in the illicit cultivation and trafficking of cannabis sativa in the state to desist from doing so, as there will be no hiding place for them because the Command is poised to fish them out,” he said.
In another development, violent crimes increased in South Africa between Oct. 1 and Dec. 30, 2020, authorities said on Friday.
South African Police Minister Bheki Cele made this known at a press conference held in Pretoria, while releasing the crime statistics for the third quarter of 2020 and 2021 financial year, which runs from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021,
Cele said that during the three months, murder cases increased by 6.6 per cent with 2,481 people murdered in public spaces including the street, open fields, parking areas and abandoned buildings.
He said that this figure was 389 more compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.
He said that there was a five per cent increase in sexual offences, or an increase of 181 cases, with 12,218 people raped between October and December 2020.
According to him, aggravated robberies such as carjacking and others increased by 7 per cent.
“The national crime statistics do not paint a good picture and hence force us as the police to dig deep and put the shoulder to the wheel.
“Commissioner, there must be accountability. It can’t be business as usual. We must all have sleepless nights over these crime numbers,’’ said Cele.
The crimes were committed when the country was on lockdown level one and three.
Economists have warned that high crimes have a potential to scare potential investors.