The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service intercepted and two boats laddened with sacks that contained cannabis Sativa worth over N694 million, arresting alongside, six suspected smugglers.
Controller Olugboyega Peters, the Area Comptroller of the command, made this known during a press briefing at its command in Ibafon, Apapa Lagos.
According to the Comptroller, “On Saturday 27 March 2021 our operatives of Coastal and Harbour Patrol (Bar-Beach) on credible intelligence along Ibeche Beach on the high sea accosted, intercepted and arrested two wooden boats laddened with sacks suspected to contain Marijuana HS Code 0602.90 of Common External Tariff together with Six suspects”
He further explains, “The goods together with the suspect were brought to Western Marine Command 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 total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ₦694, 575,000 only.
Peters explains that the Command has in the 1st quarter of 2021 made a total of 12 Seizures ranging from Rice, marijuana, Second-hand clothing, and PMS with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ₦720, 541,000 only.
According to Peters, “It is pertinent to know that the task of making our society free from drug abuse and drug-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.
Peters recalls that “in the Year 2020; the operatives of the Command made a massive seizure of over 10 tonnes of Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana) valued at over a billion Naira. Here we are today showcasing another feat of arrest of Marijuana by Officers and Men of the Command.”
“In a bid for United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to fulfill its promise based on the outstanding anti-smuggling performance of WMC of installing Video Teleconferencing CISCO WEBEX equipment, the delegate of the UNODC headed by Miss Siji Song had on the 16 March 2021 visited the Command and handed over the VTC equipment which will aid the operational activities of the Command and will also assist the security agencies in response to the fight against Piracy in the maritime industry. The equipment will be fully installed when all the enabling tools are put in place by the Service.
He gave a note of warning to the perpetrators, “Let me warned 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 minimal. 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.” Peters said
He also added that “The Western Marine Command has had several collaborations with the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Director Seaport Operations and it is in view of continuous synergy and its statutory responsibility that we are handing over the marijuana together with the Six (6) suspects to the representative of NDLEA in the interest
Samuel Bashir Gadzama, commander NDLEA Apapa special command, received on behalf of the chairman/ chief executives NDLE, however, thanked the Customs Area Controller and his men for the new leaf and synergy of cooperation between the Nigerian Customs and the NDLEA and their efforts in intercepting this harmful drugs going into circulations as it is capable of causing harm to our youth.
On a final note, Peters said: “It is pertinent to know that the task of making our society free from drug abuse and drug-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.
He urged the NDLEA to invite them during the destruction of this marijuana and a copy of the certificate of destruction issued to the NCS for statistical and record keeping.