Western marine customs hands over N168m seized Cannabis sativa to NDLEA
The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has handed over Cannabis sativa estimated at N168 million, seized on waterways within Lagos State to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Addressing journalists yesterday during the handover of the items to NDLEA in Lagos, the Area Controller of the Command, Abubakar Umar, said the illicit drugs were intercepted from a wooden boat at Oko-Aja beach on March 30, after credible intelligence was made available to the Command.
He said upon physical examination and counting at the Command, the seized items was found to be 32 sacks containing 2,520 pieces of Cannabis sativa, weighing 1,437 kilogrammes with a street value of N168 million.
Umar said it was a case of prohibition, which contravenes Section 24(b) of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004 as amended.
He disclosed that the Command also seized on the creeks between February and May 2022, 828 bags of foreign parboiled rice loaded in wooden boats, suspected to be smuggled from Benin Republic, worth N29.6 million.
Similarly, he said operatives of the Command have at different locations in Idiroko, Badagry, Bar-Beach and Sea side, intercepted different smuggled items, which contravene Section 46(c), 167 and 169 of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004 as amended.
The seized items are: 30 kegs of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); eight kegs of vegetable oil, eight packs of spaghetti noodles; 250 sachets of pepper onion tomato; 71 pairs of second hand shoes; 10 sacks of second hand clothing; four boats and two engines as means of conveyance with a total duty paid value of N190 million.
According to the Controller, the seizures were made possible due to the commitment of the officers of the Command, as well as effective use of Intelligence, information gathering, surveillance operations, inter-agency collaboration and intensive patrol of the creeks/waterways by the operatives of the Command.
Receiving the seized drugs on behalf of the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Mohmamed Buba Marwa , the Commander of Narcotics, Marine Unit, Uzah Isaac, commended the NCS for the seizures and their supportive role in the fight against circulation of illicit drugs being smuggled into the country.
He said Nigeria is now a big target for merchants of illicit drugs, noting that all hands must be on deck to combat the menace threatening the country’s national security.
MEANWHILE, the state has stated that henceforth, all individuals, public and private project owners / developers must subject all projects to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and obtain EIA approval on every project before implementation or face the full weight of the law.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, who disclosed this during a media parley, said the time has come for all projects to be subjected to EIA in the conception stage because of the multifarious benefits.