…As NDLEA impounds 722.469kg of illicit drugs in Cross River***
The Niger Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it intercepted 163 contraband worth more than N200 million in 2017.
The Area Comptroller, Mr Benjamin Binga, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) in Minna on Monday.
The Area command controls operations of NCS in Niger, Kogi and Kwara states.
Binga said that some of the items seized included used vehicles, used tyres, rice, furniture and second hand clothes, among others.
Binga warned smugglers and others aiding and abetting them to desist from any form of smuggling as NCS personnel had been deployed on illegal routes to arrest and prosecute smugglers.
He said that the command would go extra miles to check activities of smugglers within the area of its operation.
Binga expressed optimism that the security measures in place would curtail smuggling in the area.
He said solicited for support of stakeholders, traditional and religion leaders to mobilise their followers to assist field officers with information on movements of smugglers.
In the meantime, the Cross River Command of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency says it seized 722.46699 kilogrammes of hard drugs from suspected drug barons in the state in 2017.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Kenneth Odili, said in a statement on Monday in Calabar that the seized drug worth millions of naira.
According to him, the illicit drugs comprise 711.9721 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa (India Hemp), 395.9 grammes of cocaine, 122.6 grammes of heroin and 10.051 kilogrammes of psychotropic substances.
Odili said that 250 suspects, made up of 230 male and 20 female, were apprehended in connection with the seizures.
“Also, 34 suspects were convicted at the Federal High Court in Calabar within the period under review,’’ he said.
The NDLEA spokesman said that 161 drug dependent persons were counselled and reintegrated into the society by the agency’s Drug Demand Reduction Unit (DDRU).
“While four tonnes of concluded cases of hard drugs were publicly burnt following orders from the court,’’ he said.
The command appealed for assistance from the state government and relevant stakeholders in the fight against illicit drugs trafficking and drug abuse in the state.