The Western Marine Command (WMC) of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have arrested six suspects in connection with seizures of cannabis sativa valued at ₦694, 575,000 in Lagos.
Briefing news men at the Marine command while handing over the substance to officials of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller ,Olugboyega Peters disclosed that the suspects were arrested along Ibeshe Beach.
Comptroller Peters hinted that on 27th of March 2021; operatives of Coastal and Harbour Patrol on credible intelligence along Ibeshe Beach on the high sea accosted, intercepted and arrested two wooden boats carrying sacks suspected to contain marijuana.
He disclosed that the Six suspects were arrested as empowered by Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap. C45 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 as amended which states as follows:Section 149 – Powers to search vehicles/shipsSection 150 – Powers to search personsSection 158 – Powers to patrol freely Section 167 – Powers to detain/seizeSection 169 – Powers of forfeiture.
Peters explained that the goods together with the suspect were brought to the Command after examining it “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.
‘”The total Duty paid value of the Marijuana is Six Hundred and Ninety Four Million Five Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand Naira (₦694, 575,000.00) only.
“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 of National Security” Peters quipped.
Speaking on the commands activities for the first quartet of the year, the command boss said “Similarly, 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 Seven Hundred and Twenty Million, Five Hundred and Forty One Thousand Naira (₦720, 541,000.00) only.
“In a bid for United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to fulfill its promise based on the outstanding antismuggling 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
“It is pertinent to know that the task of making our society free from drugs abuse and drugs 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 added.
Computer Peters however warned the perpetrators of such illicit acts to desist from smuggling and look for legitimate means of livelihood. Adding that operatives of WMC are always combat-ready to bring smuggling to its barest minimal and no amount of distraction will deter the command from enforcing the Federal Government Fiscal Policies.
.While receiving the cannabis on behalf of the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, the Special Area Commander for Apapa Command Samuel Bashir Gadzama thanked the Customs Area Controller and his men for their role and efforts in intercepting such a huge consignment of drug.
Gadzama described the drug as capable of causing problems for the country if allowed access into the hands of our youths.
Meanwhile, an on the spot testing of samples of the compressed drugs were carried out by the operatives of NDLEA which was witnessed by the media and officials of the NCS to confirm the seized substance is