Customs hands over N699.5m seized hard drugs to NDLEA
The Western Marine Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), yesterday, handed over hard substances suspected to be Cannabis sativa and tramadol smuggled through the nation’s coastal waters, and estimated at N699.5 million to the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Speaking during the handing over ceremony in Apapa, Lagos, the Customs Area Controller, Western Marine Command, Odaudu Salefu, said 8,240 parcels of Cannabis sativa (Marijuana), and 23,000 capsules of 100mg of tramadol were intercepted by the Command in its effort to puncture the evil ranks of smuggling and illicit trade along the nation’s coastal waters.
Salefu said on August 3, at about 4:00 a.m, the command upon a follow-up on one of its numerous leads, received credible intelligence that an attempt would be made to smuggle a large shipment of Cannabis sativa into Nigeria through her western waterways from a neighbouring country.
He said the command immediately assembled a joint team of marine patrol officers and set out towards Ibeju-Lekki Deep Sea coastal water where they intercepted and arrested one wooden boat with two Yamaha outboard engines of 40 horsepower, each loaded with 103 sacks of substances immediately suspected to be Cannabis sativa.
According to him, the smugglers, upon sighting the patrol team, dived into the water and abandoned their boat with all the items in it, which was immediately brought to the Western Marine Command Headquarters in Ibafon, Apapa.
He said it was found to contain 8,240 parcels of Cannabis sativa, weighing 3,811 kilogrammes with a duty paid value of N692.1 million, while the duty paid value of the means of conveyance and two Yamaha outboard engines stood at N7.4 million.
According to him, the combined duty paid value for the entire seizures was N699.5 million, noting that the inordinate quest by citizens to get rich by any means necessary, fuels the menace of smuggling. He said citizens must understand that smuggling of hard drugs is injurious and has even more devastating effects on health and the economy.
“The Western Marine Command of Nigeria Customs Service, while facilitating trade, continues to stand as the frontier along our waterways, to guard the nation under very strenuous and challenging circumstances against illicit and illegal trade that brings injuries to our economy and health,” he said.
Receiving the items, the Commander of Narcotics, NDLEA Marine Command, Paul Ahom, said NCS plays a vital role in complementing the interception and seizure of drugs in the nation’s maritime domain.
According to him, Cannabis sativa is a serious threat to the society, and handing over seized drugs to NDLEA is crucial in the fight against drug trafficking and sales in Nigeria.
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