The convicts, Fatawu Tininya, 29, Mashawudu Iddrisu, 20, and Zaaku Mahama, 19, were arrested at Savelugu with 13 and half maxi bags of cannabis last Thursday, according to the Daily Graphic newspaper.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Richard Kogyapwah, sentenced the trio to 19 years in prison on their own guilty plea to the charge and also confiscated five motorbikes which the convicts used to convey the Indian hemp to the state.

The court heard that police received intelligence reports that a group of people were conveying Indian hemp from the North East Region to the Northern Region.

According to the Northern Regional State Attorney, Mr Salia Abdul Quddus, the police at Savelugu conducted a swoop at Yong Primary School at Savelugu in the course of which the convicts were arrested with the substances, but two other accomplices managed to escape.

Upon their arrest, the convicts claimed ownership of the 13 and half bags of the substances and named three people as their suppliers, the newspaper reported.

The convicts were taken to the Regional Police Headquarters in Tamale where preliminary tests on the substances at the Drug Law Enforcement Unit revealed that the substances were cannabis.