By EKPO, ERIC
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Thursday announced the seizure of N4.279bn worth of hard drugs and handed them over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA).
The drugs include 56.39 kg of cocaine which value was put at N2,368,380,000 and another 955 kg of Colorado Indica worth N1,911,400,000.
Breakdown of the seized drugs include 65 packets of Colorado Indica weighing 32.5 kg, 17 packets of cocaine weighing 16.690 kg, and 151 packets of Colorado Indica which weighed 107 kg.
The seizures were announced by the Comptroller General of the Customs, Adewale Adeniyi during a press briefing in Lagos.
The dangerous drugs, including arms and ammunition shipped from Canada and South Africa.
He mentioned that just as the criminals find strength in collaboration, government agencies must also partner with sister agencies, thereby harnessing the special expertise of one another.
He added “It is within this context that the ongoing collaborative efforts between the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have consistently yielded positive results. This collaborative synergy exemplifies the effectiveness of pulling resources and intelligence, reinforcing the commitment of both agencies to safeguarding the nation’s borders and protecting its citizens from the threats posed by illegal substances.
In his words, the items seized, include; 65 packets of Colarado Indica weighing 32.5kg seized from 1X40FT Container No. UACU 534833/6 imported from Canada.
17 packets weighing 16.690kg confirmed to be Cocaine, 151 packets Colarado Indica weighing 107 kg, One (1) piece Gen2 Air soft pistol with serial No. 471908, empty magazine, 49 rounds of 7.62 mm live ammunition, 197 rounds of 9mm live ammunition, precursor chemicals for the manufacture of crystal methamphetamine, 8bags weighing 25kg tartaric acid, 100kegs of unspecified substances seized from 1x40ft Container No. MSCU 458177/0 imported from Durban South Africa.
40packets weighing39.7kg confirmed to be Cocaine, 1026 packets weighing 688.2kg confirmed to be Colarado Indica, Two (2) pistols without serial numbers, one pistol with SerialNo. AZYSRA6YSO12101181, three (3) empty magazines, 275rounds of 5.5mm M16 Tavor live ammunition, Six rounds of 9mm blank ammunition seized from in 1x40ft container No. THRU 796807/1imported from Durban South Africa
226 packets weighing 128kg confirmed to be Cannabis Indica seized from 1x40ft Container No.MEDU 785276/3 imported from Durban South Africa.
However, Adeniyi disclosed that the identity of the individuals linked to the seized containers are yet to be uncovered as investigations are ongoing while handing over of the illicit drugs to the NDLEA.
Commenting on the matter, the NDLEA chairman, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd) commended the Nigerian Customs over the handing over of the illicit drugs to the NDLEA, saying it is a development that speaks volume about the hard work of the security agencies tasked with securing the territory of our nation.
He further stated that, just as the airports are secured, the seaports are secured as well. He however praised the NCS for the fruitful collaboration with the NDLEA, not just at Tin Can Island Port Area but across all areas of their respective responsibility.
In his words “The synergy between Customs and the NDLEA would further ensure the closure of other loop holes that criminal elements have capitalized on in the past years to smuggle illicit items into the country”
Commenting on the issue, the National Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Prince Olusegun Oduntan stated that the issue did not come as a surprise as even in the advanced countries, they still have issues like this. He however admonished his members to have a good measure of knowledge about their clients but maintained that the integrity of the association is intact.