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Task force recovers 26 parcels of Indian hemp inside luxury bus

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MOTOR transport workers at the popular Izuchukwu Motor Park, Down Fly-over, Upper Iweka axis of Onitsha, Anambra State, were jolted at recently when a task force set up by Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBOB) found about 26 parcels of Cannabis Sativa (Indian Hemp) inside a luxury bus loading passengers for conveyance from Onitsha to the northern part of the country.

  Each of the parcels, according to the task force, were wrapped with striped polythene bags, concealed inside an Ecolac bag and Ghana-must-go bag and dumped at a hidden corner of the luxury bus, by an anonymous drug trafficker.

  Displaying the parcels and bags to newsmen shortly before handing them over to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA), Onitsha Zonal Command, Chairman of ALBON Task Force, Uchenna Joe Maduakor, said when they found the bags, none of the passengers on board the luxury bus agreed that they belonged to him or her.

  According to Maduakor who is also the proprietor of Uchenna Motors, the rate at which these peddlers conceal hard drugs inside luxury buses has become too rampant that the task force members have been compelled to search all bags belonging to passengers boarding luxury buses inside motor parks.

  Maduakor, who lamented that under such circumstances, the NDLEA officials had detained luxury buses belonging to GUO Transport Limited, Ifesinachi Transport Limited, Osinachi Motors Limited, Uchenna Motors, Chukwudalu Motors, Goodluck Motors, among others in the recent past and extorted so much money in each case before releasing the vehicles, said whenever such  situation occur, NDLEA do not give listening ears to their explanations.

  Vice President of ALBON, Nonso Ubajaka, who confirmed the recovery of the exhibits, told newsmen that the association decided to set up the task force to investigate all luggage coming into their luxury buses as a result of incessant planting of such exhibits inside the buses.

  In their separate speeches, Chief Godwin Ubaka Okeke of the GUO Motors Limited; Chief Sebastine Udemba of Chiemezie Motors Limited, a trustee of ALBON  and Chief Joseph Ejiofor of God’s Time Transport Services, ALBON’s National Task Force Chairman, regretted that their businesses are going down as a result of this menace.

  Also in a telephone chat with newsmen, the National President of ALBON, Prince Emeka Mamah of Ifesinachi Motors Limited, explained that these peddlers device many tactics in carrying out their nefarious activities, adding that in some cases,

they would wrap tramadol, codeine or other substances and deceive the conductor into believing that it is a vehicle brain box or spare parts, then do a way bill of about N2,000 or N3,000 only for them to inform NDLEA that such an exhibit is hidden inside the bus and NDLEA in turn, would flag down the vehicle and punish them accordingly without fair hearing.

  Mamah explained that one of his luxury buses is still under detention by the NDLEA under such a circumstance and appealed to law enforcement agencies to always give them listening ear whenever such occasion arose, instead of impounding the vehicle and squeezing out huge sums of money from innocent luxury bus owners.

  Two officials of NDLEA, led by one Saleh, arrived with an official vehicle, collected the two bags of the exhibits from the ALBON Task Force and zoomed off without talking to newsmen.

  The Public Relations Officer of NDLEA in Anambra State, Charles Odigie who confirmed the recovery of the exhibits, told newsmen on phone that the agency has a cordial relationship with ALBON in the fight against drug trafficking, adding that they were investigating the alleged conspiracy between their officials and drug peddlers.

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