Customs intercepts N4.3b hard drugs from South Africa, Canada
The Nigeria Customs Service, Tincan Island Port Command, Lagos State has intercepted 56.39kg of cocaine and 955kg of Colorado Indica (marijuana) smuggled from South Africa and Canada with a street value of N4.3 billion.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, said this in a media conference on Thursday in Lagos.
Adeniyi said the cocaine was worth N2.4 billion, whereas the marijuana was valued at N1.9 billion.
He added that the command intercepted five pistols and 445 rounds of live ammunition and several empty pistol magazines.
He attributed the successful interception and seizure of the various illicit substances to the command’s collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
Adeniyi noted that these interception operations had brought to light a concerning trend wherein criminal networks engage in collaborative attempts to subvert the competency of the agencies tasked with mitigating the entry of such illicit substances.
According to him, recognising the threats and the collaborative nature of criminal activities, the NCS has prioritised strategic partnerships with stakeholders over the past seven months.
He said: “Disrupting the link between illicit drugs, criminal activities and access to arms and ammunition stands as a critical strategy in reducing overall crime rates.
“Suppressing drug-induced altered states and restricting criminal access to weaponry can significantly impact their operational capabilities.
“The interception and seizure of illicit substances, along with stringent control measures over the circulation of arms are integral components of an effective crime prevention strategy.
“This approach aligns with the broader goal of enhancing public safety and underscores the NCS’s commitment to dismantling the foundations that sustain criminal enterprises, fostering a more secure environment for our citizens.”
Adeniyi listed the seized items as: “65 packets of Colarado Indica weighing 32.5kg seized from 1X40FT Container No. UACU 534833/6 imported from Canada.
“Others are 17 packets weighing 16.690kg confirmed to be Cocaine, 151 packets Colarado Indica weighing 107 kg, one piece Gen2 Airsoft 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, eight bags weighing 25kg tartaric acid, 100kegs of unspecified substances seized from 1x40ft Container No. MSCU 458177/0 imported from Durban South Africa.
“40 packets weighing 39.7kg confirmed to be Cocaine, 1026 packets weighing 688.2kg confirmed to be Colarado Indica, two pistols without serial numbers, one pistol with SerialNo. AZYSRA6YSO12101181, three 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.”
Adeniyi noted that the individuals linked to these seizures had not been disclosed as investigations into the criminal network are ongoing.
He added: “The NCS is committed to leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the perpetrators involved in these illicit activities face the full consequences of the law.
“Our relentless pursuit of justice underscores the determination to dismantle the networks enabling these criminal acts, reinforcing our dedication to upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the security and well-being of the Nigerian people.
“NCS and NDLEA remain steadfast in their commitment to enhancing ongoing collaborations aimed at eradicating criminal elements from society.
“We will persist in extending intelligence, network, and capabilities both nationally and internationally.
“The collective objective is to thoroughly eliminate these criminal elements, ensuring the society is rid of their detrimental influence.”
Retired Brigadier General Mohammed Marwa, Chairman of the NDLEA, attributed the seizures to the hard work of security agencies tasked with securing the nation’s territory.
Marwa, represented by Femi Babafemi, Director of Media and Advocacy of the NDLEA, added that the seizure was a testament that the sea ports were also secured.
He said: “I express my appreciation to the leadership, men and officers of the NCS for the collaboration between the service and the NDLEA, not only at TinCan Island Port here but across all areas of our respective responsibilities.
“I appreciate their steadfastness since the intelligence was received weeks ago from our international partners on the containers from which these drugs were recovered as they departed the port of loading.
“The command and other units had diligently tracked the movement of the containers up to the time of their landing in our port.
“In the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, NDLEA never hesitated to share intelligence with the TinCan Island Command of the NCS and also requested that the command ensure the containers were pinned down for 100 per cent examination.”
Marwa added that the synergy between the Customs and NDLEA would close other loopholes that criminal elements had capitalised on in the past to smuggle illicit items into the country.