The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested at least 2 suspected drug traffickers who sell their illicit substances online. According to the agency, the suspects pose as confectionery dealers to advertise their wares on social media, receive orders and deliver them to clients.
One of the suspects, Ese Patrick hides behind her Instagram account, Ese’sOvenSecret. A cursory look at the account doesn’t reveal anything more than a caterer baking and selling cakes and brownies.
Brownies are a special kind of confectionery that can be baked with different ingredients like chocolate which is the main ingredient, butter, cream cheese, nuts etc. But these online drug dealers add some weed in theirs, so while the brownies look harmless on the outside, they actually contain illicit substances on the inside.
The NDLEA tracked and arrested Ese after some of its operatives, posing as interested buyers, ordered some brownies which she delivered with the help of her boyfriend. A follow-up operation at her residence led to the seizure of 400 grams of Arizona weed which she uses in baking the brownies.
Another online drug trafficker, Peter Nkejika was arrested after he was implicated by a dispatch rider with some quantity of Loud, a highly psychoactive variant of cannabis. Each portion of loud costs N30,000 and the rider was caught with 17 portions for delivery.
The NDLEA also said its operatives intercepted two online drug transactions and arrested two dispatch riders with some quantities of cocaine and Loud already packaged for delivery recovered from them.
A 2019 report by Business Day estimates that there are more than 20 million weed consumers in Nigeria, making the country the highest weed consuming country in the world. It also estimates that Nigerians spend at least $15.3 billion on the narcotic yearly.
While hard drugs remain illegal in the country, there’s no denying that their rate of consumption continues to be on the rise. The industry, though forbidden, is a high net worth industry with individuals and organisations making huge money off it.
It is therefore not surprising that their marketing, sale and trafficking would eventually go digital, pretty much like everything else. One can only hope the NDLEA is well-equipped to tackle it.
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