By Steve Agbota

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Thursday handed over 56.39kg of Cocaine valued at N2.368 billion; and 955kg of Colorado Indica valued at N1.911 billion, all with street value of N4.279 billion alongside different amounts of arms and live ammunition from Canada and South Africa to Nigeria Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Speaking at the Tin-Can Island Port on Thursday, the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Bashir Adeniyi, said that the summary of the weapons seized is five pistols and 445 rounds of live ammunition and several empty pistol magazines.

“We will recall that in recent months, the Nigeria Customs Service has reported a number of successfully executed multiple interceptions and seizures of illicit drugs, arms and ammunition at various locations, representing a concerted effort to prevent illegal entry into the country through diverse routes and means of conveyance.,” he said.

According to him, these interception operations have brought to light a concerning trend wherein criminal networks engage in collaborative attempts to subvert the competency of the agencies tasked with mitigating the entry of such illicit substances. “Our actions underscore the persistent challenges posed by sophisticated smuggling networks, emphasizing the critical need for enhanced cooperation and advanced strategies to fortify the nation’s borders and preserve the safety and security of its citizens.

“In recognition of the threats and the collaborative nature of criminal activities, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has steadfastly prioritized strategic partnerships with stakeholders over the past seven months. This deliberate focus aims to harness the specialized expertise of our partners in a manner that enhances our capability to fulfil our core mandates,” he said.

He added that just as criminals find strength in collaboration, government agencies must equally appreciate the advantages of working collectively to fulfil their statutory responsibilities.

He said it is within this context that the ongoing collaborative efforts between the NCS and the Nigeria Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have consistently yielded positive results.

“NCS is pleased to provide an update on the outcomes of its collaboration, particularly with the NDLEA, resulting in the successful interception and seizure of various illicit substances. The seized items include:

“65 packets of Colarado Indica weighing 32.5kg seized from 1X40FT Container No. UACU 534833/6 imported from Canada.

“17 packets weighing 16.690kg confirmed to be Cocaine; 151 packets Colarado Indica weighing 107 kg; One piece Gen2 Air soft pistol with serial No. 471908; empty magazine, 49 rounds of 7.62 mm live ammunition; 197 rounds of 9mm live ammunition; precursor chemicals for the manufacture of crystal methamphetamine; 8bags weighing 25kg tartaric acid; 100kegs of unspecified substances all seized from 1x40ft Container No. MSCU 458177/0 imported from Durban South Africa.

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“40packets weighing39.7kg confirmed to be Cocaine; 1026 packets weighing 688.2kg confirmed to be Colarado Indica; Two pistols without serial numbers; one pistol with Serial No. AZYSRA6YSO12101181; three empty magazines; 275rounds of 5.5mm M16 Tavor live ammunition; Six rounds of 9mm blank ammunition all seized from 1x40ft container No. THRU 796807/1imported from Durban South Africa

“226 packets weighing 128kg confirmed to be Cannabis Indica seized from 1x40ft Container No.MEDU 785276/3 imported from Durban South Africa.

“The summary of the seized substances is 56.39kg of Cocaine valued at N 2,368,380,000, 955kg of Colorado Indica valued at 1,911,400,000, all with street value of N4.279 Billion Naira. The summary of the weapons seized is 5 pistols and 445 rounds of live ammunition and several empty pistol magazines,” he explained.

He the individuals linked to these seizures have not been disclosed as investigations into the criminal network are ongoing, as NCS is committed to leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the perpetrators involved in these illicit activities face the full consequences of the law.

Speaking during handing over of the substances, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa was represented by agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said the handing over of seized illicit drugs in custody of the Nigeria Customs Service is a development that speaks volumes about the hard work and diligence of security agencies tasked with securing the territory of our country.

According to him, the seizure is a testament that, just like the airports, the sea ports are also secured.

However, he expressed his appreciation to the leadership, men and officers of the Nigeria Customs Service for the collaboration between the Service and the NDLEA, not only at Tin Can Island Port here but across all areas of the agency’s respective responsibilities where we need each other to work in the best interest of the ountry.

“I will also seize this opportunity to commend the officers and men of the Tin Can Command of NDLEA and other special units, including our K-9 unit, involved in the processes leading to these seizures, for their steadfastness since we received intelligence weeks ago from our international partners on the containers from which these drugs were recovered as they departed the port of loading,” he added.