December 5, 2022

Maritime Today Online

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Customs intercepts cannabis worth N694m, arrests 6 suspects

The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 6, 615 kilograms of cannabis sativa packed in147 sacks with a street value of N694.5 million.

Six suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.

Controller of the Command, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, who briefed newsmen in Lagos on Friday while handing over the cannabis to the Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)  Apapa Special Area Command,  Samuel Gazama, said the drugs were seized along Ibeche Beach following a credible intelligence.

 He said, “On Saturday  March 27, 2021; the WMC operatives of Coastal and Harbour Patrol on credible intelligence along Ibeche Beach on the high sea accosted, intercepted and arrested two wooden boats laden with sacks suspected to contain marijuana (HS Code 0602.90 of Common External Tariff (CET)

“The goods together with the six 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 with a DPV of N694.5 million.

“It is pertinent to know that the task of making our society free from drug abuse and drugs related substances is a collective one, all hands must be on deck to make our society free from such menace. You can imagine the havoc like terrorism, banditry, rape and other crimes, the marijuana of this magnitude may cause in our society if this seizure has not been made by our operatives.

“On this note, let me warn the unscrupulous element to desist from smuggling and look for a legitimate means of livelihood. The operatives of WMC are always combat-ready to bring smuggling to its barest minimum. No amount of distraction will deter us from enforcing the Federal Government fiscal policies; we will remain resolute and undaunted by failure no matter whose ox is gored.”

Olugboyega said the WMC has had several collaborations with the NDLEA and it is in view of continuous synergy and its statutory responsibility that the Command is handing over the marijuana together with the six suspects to the representative of NDLEA.

He therefore urged the NDLEA to invite the Command during the destruction of the drugs and a copy of certificate of destruction issued to the NCS for statistical and record keeping.

Olugboyega said the command in the 1st quarter of 2021 made a total of 12 seizures ranging from rice, second hand clothing and PMS with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N720.5 million.

In his remarks, the NDLEA commander commended the WMC for its unprecedented feat in the fight against smuggling and seeks more collaboration between the two agencies to ensure that Nigeria is free of illicit items that can cause harm to the lives of the citizens.