By Steve Agbota
The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that intercepted Cannabis Sativa worth N168 million on waterways between February and May in Lagos State.
Addressing a media briefing in Apapa, Customs Area Controller of the Command, Abubakar Alhaji Umar, said that the illicit hard drugs were seized on March 30 after credible intelligence was made available to the Command.
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According to him, on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at about 0330hours, the operatives of the command while on credible intelligence accosted and intercepted a wooden boat at Oko-Ajah beach containing sacks suspected to be Cannabis Sativa.
He hinted that the goods were brought to the Western Marine Command of the NCS, and upon physical examination, found to contain 32 sacks (2,520 pieces) of Cannabis Sativa weighing 1,437kg.
He said the Street Value of the Marijuana is N168, 000,000.00 only, adding that this is a case of absolute prohibition and contravenes Section 24(b) of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004 as amended.
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“On Thursday, April 7, 2022, at about 1930hrs; our operatives while on credible intelligence along Badagry waterways intercepted and seized one wooden boat laden with foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from the Benin Republic. The smuggled foreign rice and its means of conveyance were brought to the Command for examination. On physical examination, it was found to be 503 Bags of foreign parboiled rice.
“In a related development, On Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at about 1900hrs, following credible intelligence, the operatives of the Command intercepted and arrested two wooden boats laden with foreign parboiled rice at Oniru Beach. The boats and the smuggled foreign rice were counted and found to be 136 Bags of foreign parboiled rice.
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“Gentlemen of the Press, for the period under review, the operative of the Command have under my watch arrested and seized a total of 828 bags of foreign rice suspected to be smuggled from the Benin Republic with Duty Paid Value of N29, 684,000.00) only,” he added.
Similarly, he said the operatives of the Command have at different locations in Idiroko, Badagry, Bar-Beach and Seaside intercepted different smuggled items which contravene Section 46(c), 167 and 169 of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004 as amended.
“The seized items are: Foreign Parboiled Rice concealed in 35 Jerry cans of Vegetable Oil; 30 kegs of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); 8 Kegs of Vegetable Oil; 8 Packs of Spaghetti Noodles; 250 Sachets of Pepper Onion Tomato; 71 Pairs of Second-Hand Shoes; 10 Sacks of Second Hand Clothing; 4 Boats and 2 Engines as means of conveyance.
“The total Duty Paid Value of the seizures is N190, 145,500.00. Due to the nature of the seized items, the Command on the approval of headquarters auctioned the product and the amount generated as fees has been remitted into the Federation Account.
“On arrests, unfortunately, no arrest was made in connection with these seizures as the smugglers dived into the waters while some took to their heels on sighting the patrol Officers/Men.
“With the approval of the CGC, the seized Cannabis Sativa will be handed over today to the Commander, Marine Unit of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), as part of the existing inter-agency collaboration between the NCS and the NDLEA,” he explained.
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