LAGOS, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Thursday burned down more than 560,000 kilograms of illicit drugs in Lagos state, the country's economic hub, the largest of its kind to be destroyed in the 32-year history of the anti-drug agency.
Speaking at a ceremony held in the Badagry area of Lagos state, Mohamed Buba Marwa, chairman of the NDLEA, said the drugs to be destroyed were part of the 3.5 million kilograms of illicit drugs seized across the country since January 2021, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, cannabis sativa, among others.
Marwa said the exercise sends a strong message to drug barons and cartels that "they will continue to lose their huge investments in the criminal trade if they fail to back out and look for other legitimate businesses."
"It is gratifying to know that our drug law enforcement efforts are not in vain. Our efforts not only resulted in the seizure of the aforementioned drugs but also culminated in the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the offenders in court," he added.
According to Marwa, since January 2021, the NDLEA has arrested over 17,647 drug offenders, of which 2,385 have been convicted in court.
The most populous African country has been troubled by drug trafficking and abuses, with frequent reports of seizure of illicit drugs and arrests of suspects in the country.