Customs Marine Intercepts, Handover Consignments of Marijuana, Tramadol
BY FUNMI ALUKO
The Westerns Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has handed over seized 103 sacks containing 8,240 loaves of Cannabis Sativa otherwise known in local parlance as Marijuana in addition to 23,000 Capsules of 100mg of Tramadol to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
At the handing over ceremony which took place at its Coconut Olodi-Apapa head office Thursday, August 7, 2023, the Customs Area Controller, CAC, Comptroller O. A Salefu said the NDLEA will carry out further investigation on the movement of the illicit drugs, which was received by the representative of NDLEA, Commander Marine, Paul Ahom.
The flagship customs marine command boss disclosed that the interception of the consignment which was based on actionable intelligence happened on Thursday 3rd August 2023 at the Ibeju-Lekki waterways axis in Lagos.
According to him, while the Duty Paid Value, DPVof the Marijuana with a total weight of 3,811 kilograms is Six Hundred and Ninety Two Million, One Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira Only, N692,160,000, that of the means of conveyance, two Yamaha outboard engines of 40 horse power each, stands at Seven Million, Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only, N7,350,000; amounting to a combined DPV of Six Hundred And Ninety Nine Million, Five Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira Only N699,510,000.
Comptroller Salefu however explained that no arrest was made as the culprits escaped upon sighting operatives of the command.
He said, “On Thursday 3rd August 2023, at about 0400hrs the Command upon a follow-up on one of its numerous lead, received credible intelligence, that a crime was about to be committed, information reached the Command that an attempt will be made to smuggle a large shipment of Cannabis Sativa into the Country through our western waterways from a neighboring Country.
“The Command immediately assembled a joint patrol Team of Marine patrol Officers and set out towards the IbejuLekki Deep Sea costal water where they intercepted and arrested one wooden Boat with Two, Yamaha outboard Engines (40hp each) loaded with 103 Sacks of substances immediately suspected to be Cannabis Sativa, Marijuana.
“The smugglers upon sighting our patrol Team dived into the water and abandoned their Boat with all the items in it which was immediately brought to Western Marine Command Headquarters Ibafon APAPA and found to contain 8,240 parcels, loaves, of Cannabis Sativa having a total weight of 3,811 kg.
“Duty paid value of the cannabis sativa stands at N692,160,000, Six Hundred and Ninety Two Million, One Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira Only with a total weight of 3,811 kilograms while the duty paid value of the means of conveyance and two Yamaha outboard engines of 40 horse power each stands at N7,350,000, Seven Million, Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only. These give a combined duty paid value of N699,510,000, Six Hundred And Ninety Nine Million, Five Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira Only, for the entire seizure.”
The customs marine boss expressed dismay that while government and the well populace is making efforts to show up the national economy, some undesirable elements are involved in driving the very reverse through criminal economic activities, even as he warned the unscrupulous elements to desist and embrace legitimate trade.
“The inordinate quest by citizens to get rich by any means necessary fuels the menace of smuggling, citizens must understand that smuggling is injurious to our economy and smuggling of hard drugs has even more devastating effect on our health and the economy.
“Western Marine Command of Nigeria Customs Service while facilitating Trade continue to stand as the frontier along our waterways to guard the Nation under very strenuous and challenging circumstances against illicit and illegal trade that brings injuries to our economy and health.
“While appreciating the general public for their patriotic and nationalistic duty, I wish to remind you that we must partner together to rid our Nation of unhealthy and dangerous trade practices that have the potential to bring us down as people.”
He also thanked the customs leadership and management for given the command “the needed motivation and impetus to go after smugglers, performing our statutory responsibilities.”