NDLEA Detains 22 Crew Members of MV Chayanee Naree
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Twenty two crew members of a Brazilian cargo ship, MV Chanyanee Naree have been detained by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), in connection with the importation of 32.9 kg of cocaine, which was intercepted at the Apapa Port.
Those detained include Master of the ship, Mr. Tanahan Krilerk, and 21 foreign crew members, in addition to some Nigerians suspected to be involved in the deal. The agency announced yesterday, Sunday 14th of November that it has intercepted a fresh consignments of Cocaine and Heroin with a combined weight of 16.85 kilograms estimated at over N4.9 billion at the Apapa seaport and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos.
The Agency Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr. Femi Babafemi in a statement said four persons are currently being investigated for the 13.65kg Cocaine seized on board ship, MV Karteria, which called at the Apapa Port from Santos Brazil on Sunday 7th November.
Babafemi said a Federal High Court in Lagos had granted an application by the agency for the interim attachment of MV Chayanee Naree in its investigation. He said besides the attachment order, the court also granted NDLEA’s request to detain the Master of the ship, Mr. Tanahan Krilerk, and 21 foreign crew members as well as some dockworkers, said to have been arrested in connection with the botched smuggling of the narcotics. The anti-narcotic agency had on October 13 intercepted the ship at the Apapa Port following intelligence from international partners and support from other security agencies, including the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Customs Service, Directorate of State Security, the Police.
According to the statement, a thorough search of the ship led to the recovery of 30 parcels containing cocaine, which weighed 32.9kg, with a street value of N95billion.
“The application in suit no: FHC/L/CS/1518/2021, which was filed by the agency’s Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, Joseph Nbone Sunday on Thursday 28th October was granted the following day Friday, 29th October by Hon. Justice A.O. Awogboro. An application to renew the remand order was also filed on Friday, 12th November because of the volume of evidence coming out from the cooperation of the suspects in custody,” Babafemi said.
The Director, Media and Advocacy also said four persons are currently being investigated for the 13.65kg cocaine seized on board ship, MV Karteria. Babafemi said the Agency dragnet has led to the arrest of more in different location of the country.
The statement reads further: “In well-coordinated follow up operations, no fewer than five persons have been arrested in different parts of Lagos and Delta States in connection to the seizure of 3.200kg Heroin found on a passenger, Christian Osondu, at the E-Arrival-hall of the MMIA on November 5 during the inward clearance of Air Peace flight passengers from South Africa.
“A swift follow up operation same day led to the arrest of one Onyeka Victor Use at Mafoluku area of Oshodi, Lagos. He confessed that his elder brother, Ikenna Ude, who is based in South Africa, had instructed him to collect the bag containing the drug and hand over to another person who was supposed to come from Delta State.
“A second follow up operation led to the arrest of Abanjo Innocent, who came to Lagos from Delta State to pick the bag containing the drug around Cele Bus Stop, Okota on November 6. Innocent also confessed that he was contracted by one Oseki Chinedu, who is based in South Africa to travel to Lagos to collect the bag and bring it to Agbor Junction, Delta State.”
The statement also said NDLEA operatives on November 13 arrested one Obeluo Emeka from Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State with 600 grams of Heroin. The suspect, who is a motor spare parts dealer based in Douala, Cameroon, had arrived Yenagoa by waterway to waybill the substance to an undisclosed address in Lagos.”
The statement continues: “Not less than four suspects were arrested and different quantities of cocaine, cannabis, tramadol and methamphetamine seized from them during weekend raids at Rumuokoro, Elelenwo and Omagwa/Elele communities in Rivers State.
“A total of 18.51kg of assorted illicit drugs were recovered on November 13 when operatives raided a neighbourhood of Bayan Gari and Sir Ahmadu Bello Way, Bauchi town, Bauchi State, where two suspects: Gabriel Iwagbunan and Cecilia Ezena, were arrested.
“While 23-year-old Hadiza Ibrahim was arrested on November 12 along Okene-Lokoja highway with 54kg of cannabis, one Sunday Nnam, aka Idowu, was nabbed same day in Emene area of Enugu with 45kg of same substance.
“In the same vein, one Umar Muhammad was arrested with 25,700 capsules of Tramadol weighing 15.1kg in Tudun Hatsi area of Gombe. In Ogun State, following credible intelligence, two suspects: David Oduku and Ifeanyi Raphael, were intercepted along Ore-Shagamu Expressway with 364.98kg of cannabis being conveyed in a blue Toyota sienna bus, while two suspects: Buhari Jamiu and Ajibola Jimoh, were arrested in the early hours of November 14 with 189kg of cannabis at Olorunlagba, Bode Saadu area of Kwara State.”
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd), while commending the officers and men of Apapa Port Command and MMIA as well as their counterparts in the other locations, charged them to remain vigilant at all times.