Navy intercepts 162 bags of suspected smuggled rice in Lagos offshore

Navy intercepts 162 bags of suspected smuggled rice in Lagos offshore
Written by Maritime First

… As NDLEA recovers 548,000 tramadol tablets, arrests drug kingpin***

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT on routine patrol recently intercepted a wooden boat with 162 bags of foreign parboiled rice off the shore of Lagos.

This is contained in a statement signed by the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, Commodore Bashir Mohammed on Sunday in Lagos.

Mohammed said the patrol team intercepted the boat at 3:30 pm on June 8.

“Preliminary investigations by the Base reveals that the bags of rice were all foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country from Republic of Benin.

“In line with the Nigerian Navy Standard Operating Procedures, NNS BEECROFT on Friday, July 9 handed over the Cotonou boat and 162 bags of rice to the Nigeria Customs Service,” the Commodore said.

Mohammed warned smugglers to steer clear off Lagos maritime environment.

He said that the base would be relentless to bring an end to smuggling within its area of operations in line with the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo’s strategic directive for 2021 to 2025.

Also read: Navy releases 2 vessels, with stern warnings to owners in Delta

“As partners for a safe maritime environment, members of the public, especially our host communities, are enjoined to kindly furnish the base with credible information to assist in curbing activities of criminal elements and economic saboteurs,” Mohammed appealed.

In another development, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has recovered 548,000 tramadol tablets branded as “Tarkadol” at Nkwelle, Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State.

Its Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.

Babafemi said the drugs were seized at the warehouse of a major drug kingpin, Okeke Chijioke, of No. 3, Atunya street, Maryland Estate, Nkwelle.

He said Okeke’s arrest on Saturday 10th July, followed credible intelligence and surveillance, which confirmed he stocked his warehouse with the illicit drug.

According to him, after the search of his warehouse, 548,000 tablets of Tarkadol weighing 302.500 kilograms were recovered.

“The suspect accepted ownership of the substance recovered. Preliminary investigation has established that Tarkadol is a brand of Tramadol that has just been introduced into the market to evade attention.

“The substance has also tested positive to amphetamine. The drug was equally labeled 100mg pain reliever on its packs to avoid scrutiny, while laboratory tests confirmed it’s a 225mg drug.

“It was further discovered that the drug was manufactured in India and smuggled into Nigeria without NAFDAC number or certification.

“During the search on the warehouse, a double barrel pump gun with three live cartridges, which licence expired since 2019, was also discovered and recovered, ” he said.

Babafemi said this was even as operatives of the Benue State command of the agency on road patrol in Apir village on 14th July intercepted and seized 28,400 capsules of tramadol from one Dankawu Madaki, who hails from Misah LGA, Bauchi State.

In a related development, a notorious interstate drug dealer, Godiya Linus, based in Taraba who supplied narcotics to dealers in Adamawa had been arrested in Numan area of the state.

Babafemi said Godiya, an ex-convict, was in jail between 2012 and 2018 following his conviction on drug related charges.

He said a drug dealer, Mohammed Ali, had earlier been arrested on 10th July with 1.150kg of diazepam in Numan.

“A follow up operation led to the arrest of Godiya who supplied Ali, while investigation has since revealed that he is based in Mayolope village in Lau local government area of Taraba.

“This was where he suppliedJambutu park in Yola and other parts of Numan, using an unregistered boxer motorcycle for distribution.

“Few days after Godiya’s arrest, another dealer, Emmanuel Ishiwu was nabbed with different quantities of tramadol, exol-5 and diazepam, totalling 6.103kg also in Numan on 14th July.

“This also was followed by the arrest of Muhammadu Garba and Shaibu Haruna with 48.500kg of cannabis in Gurin area of the state on Friday, 16th July 2021, ” he said.

Babafemi quoted the Chairman, NDLEA retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the officers and men of the Anambra, Benue and Adamawa state Commands.

Marwa applauded them for sustaining the offensive in the ongoing efforts to mop up illicit drugs from every community in all parts of Nigeria, charging them to remain unrelenting in the discharge of their duties.


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Maritime First