By Yusuf Odejobi
Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Western Marine Command, Ibafon, has handed over smuggled cannabis sativa cultivated in Ghana also known as Marijuana/Skunk worth N694, 575,000.00 to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Handing over the cannabis to the NDLEA yesterday, the Customs Area Controller, WMC, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters said the feat is part of the command’s continuous synergy with the NDLEA in riding the trend of drug smuggling into the country.
According to him, six (6) Suspects was apprehended in connection with the drug which is estimated to weight 6,615Kg with total Duty paid value of Six Hundred and Ninety Four Million Five Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand Naira (₦694, 575,000.00) only.
He also revealed that the seizure and arrest was as a result of credible intelligence which the Command has been monitoring for over 6 months.
The Area Controller said: “On Saturday 27 March 2021, our operatives of Coastal and Harbour Patrol (Bar-Beach) on credible intelligence along Ibeche Beach on the high sea accosted, intercepted and arrested Two (2) wooden boats ladened with sacks suspected to contain Marijuana HS Code 0602.90 of Common External Tariff (CET) together with Six (6) suspects as empowered by Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap. C45 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 as amended which states as follows: Section 149 – Powers to search vehicles/ships; Section 150 – Powers to search persons; Section 158 – Powers to patrol freely; Section 167 – Powers to detain/seize; Section 169 – Powers of forfeiture”
“The goods together with the suspectS were brought to WMC; upon physical counting it was found to be 147 sacks of Marijuana with an average of 45Kg per sack, giving an estimated total of 6,615Kg.”
Olugboyega also disclosed that the Command since the 1st quarter of 2021 has made a total of 12 Seizures ranging from Rice, marijuana, Second hand clothing and PMS with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of Seven Hundred and Twenty Million, Five Hundred and Forty One Thousand Naira (₦720, 541,000.00) only.
The WMC boss warned Nigerians to desist from smuggling drugs and rather venture into a legitimate means of livelihood as the operatives of WMC are always combat-ready to bring smuggling to its barest minimum.
On receiving the seized Marijuana, the NDLEA Apapa Seaport Area Commander, Mr Samuel Godzama disclosed that the seized brand of cannabis Sativa was cultivated in Ghana.
According to him it is more potent that the brand of the cannabis sativa in Nigeria and the market for it is huge.
“Most of these drugs you see do not stop in the country because Nigeria is still a transit to other neighbouring countries.”
“I feel happy and encouraged receiving this from the customs, I feel excited as we are working together as a team. I appreciate the efforts of the marine unit to have stopped and intercepted these harmful substances”, he said.