The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Kwara has arrested 17 suspects while trying to smuggle codeine to some parts of the state.
This comes about a week after the federal government banned the importation and production of the substance over its abuse.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, Onah Ogilegwu, NDLEA commandant in Kwara, said 13 of the suspects were arrested with assorted hard drugs in different locations across the state.
Ogilegwu said two suspects with 12 cartons of codeine were nabbed on Saturday, while two others were arrested on Tuesday.
“The two suspects were in the taxi trying to travel down north with the drug but my men intercepted their car and while checking, they discovered 12 cartons of codeine,” he said.
“They confessed that they are travelling to Kaduna with the drugs to deliver them to a man.
“They said that they have been involved and making money from the business for a very long time.”
Ogilegwu charged all drug sellers and producers to abide by the directive to submit banned substances as failure to do so will lead to the arrest of culprits.
He added that other assorted drugs like Tramadol should be placed on poison box by the pharmacists and should be sold strictly on medical doctor’s recommendation.
“Any other vendor found selling drugs aside licensed pharmacists will face the wrath of the law when arrested,” he said, while also urging the federal government to fast-track a bill to ban the production, sales and distribution of the drugs.