How Tin Can Customs uncovered 200 parcels of cocaine after 42 days of intelligence profiling
The Command had earlier declared that the cocaine weighing 214.732kg, was the highest volume seized in the country in 10 years. It was intercepted in one of the 17×20 container No CMAU 045195/0 said to contain ‘Virgin Cellulose Tassma for cement application’ belonging to Nigerite Nigeria Limited, and which Elevation Transaction Limited was the agent.
The Guardian gathered that The Area Controller, Comptroller Yussuf Bashar, had monitored the movement of the goods for 42 days during which he had acquainted his officers with the development and engaged in intelligence profiling that aided the final seizure on arriving at the Tin Can Island Ports.
Bashar, in a memo sent to the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Hammed Ali, said that the consignment of 17×20 ft containers on ‘fast track’ was imported into the country from New Zealand on board Olivia Maersk vessel. Based on intelligence report, container No. CMAU 045195/0 was intercepted and transferred to the enforcement unit for further investigations.
The Tin Can Command immediately sprang into action by obtaining an extract from the station diary and generated Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), a computerised customs management system, printout to aid its investigation.
Thereafter, the container was put on hold and later transferred to the enforcement unit while 100 per cent physical examination was conducted on the said container. However, the shipping company representative and the importer/agent were invited to witness the examination.
After much scrutiny, Bashar said the Customs findings revealed that eight bags of 25 parcels each in a bag (not manifested) were found alongside with the goods- Virgin Cellulose Tasman for cement in the container.
Bashar said the suspected substance and the suspect (representative of Nigerite) were formerly handed over to the officials of NDLEA for further investigations.
“Immediately after handing over, a preliminary test was conducted on the spot by the NDLEA officials and the result was inferred positive as cocaine,” he stated.
Comptroller Bashar had earlier described this as “a spectacular and remarkable seizure, considering the well articulated Intelligence Coordination Mechanism adopted and harnessed by the Command in its resilience to achieve desired results.”
Meanwhile, Nigerite said it was not involved in the packing and containerisation of the goods, and had nothing to do with the trafficking of cocaine, which is neither a raw material requirement for its operations nor part of its production processes.
The company, in a statement by its Marketing Research and Communications Manager, Victor Jolaoso, expressed readiness to cooperate fully with the authorities in their investigation into the suspected cocaine worth N2 billion.
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