The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted consignments of Colorado concealed in vehicles imported from Montreal, Canada and packs of cannabis juice flown in from South Africa, at the Tin Can Island port, Apapa and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
According to a statement by the NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, on Sunday in Abuja, the drugs were meant for distribution ahead of the Christmas festive season.
Babafemi said 12 suspects including two dockworkers and a wine shop business man have so far been arrested in connection with the two seizures as well as the recovery of 152 kilogrammes of skunk from two dealers in Kano, 100,000 pills of Tramadol in Imo State and 520kg of cannabis hidden in soft drinks crates loaded in a truck coming to Abuja.
He noted that the consignment of 185 parcels of Cannabis Indica, popularly called Colorado weighing 61.3kgs, was seized during a joint examination of a container at the Tin can seaport, Lagos.
He said the container marked MSCU5206726 from Montreal, Canada, was declared as containing three units of used vehicles but upon a 100% examination, it was found to contain two vehicles; a 2009 Toyota Corolla car and a 2009 Ford Econoline bus as well as used car engines, bicycles, shoes and other items including the drugs.
“Two dock workers: Abdulquadri Abdulazeez and Ogbuji Kenneth, are already in NDLEA custody in connection with the seizure following their initial arrest by the port security and the police,” he said.
The NDLEA spokesman noted that at the SAHCO import shed of the Lagos airport, the search of a consolidated cargo from South Africa led to the discovery of smuggled bottled cannabis juice with a gross weight of 16.50kg on Wednesday, December 21.
He said, “Investigations by anti-narcotics officers subsequently led to the arrest of four freight agents: Soremekun Wasiu, Olufisayo Dayo, Moruf Bashir and Imole Ajayi, whose statements eventually led to the arrest of the consignee, a wine shop business owner, Emebede Chuka, the following day, Thursday, December 22.
“Also, an attempt to export quantities of cannabis and ecstasy pills also known as MDMA concealed in beverage drink, Bournvita, containers to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, through the NAHCO export shed on Friday, December 23, was frustrated while a vulcaniser given the assignment for a fee of N4,000, Iyanda Yaya, has been arrested.”
In Kano, two suspects, Nura Zakariya’u and Alkasim Abubakar, were arrested along Zaria-Kano road, Kwanar Dangora, with 161 blocks of cannabis weighing 152kgs and various quantities of Exol and Codeine-based syrup, while a total of 100,000 pills of tramadol were recovered from a suspect, Amaechi Johnson in Imo State on his way to Onitsha, Anambra State.
Similarly, a total of 708kg of cannabis were recovered by operatives from a bus at Ehinogbe, Owo area of Ondo State on Tuesday, December 20.
In his reaction to the arrests and seizures, Chairman, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.) commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Tin can, Kano, Ondo, Imo and the FCT Commands for their vigilance, professionalism and robust working relationship with other security agencies in their areas of responsibility.
He further urged the officers across the country to ensure that no gram of illicit substance escapes their checks into the streets during the festive season and beyond, while wishing everyone a Merry Christmas celebration and a prosperous New Year in advance.