National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Tuesday in Lagos, again set ablaze 1.8 tons of cocaine recovered from a warehouse in Ikorodu area of Lagos on Sept 19.
The anti-narcotic agency had, on Sept. 19, stormed a warehouse in a well-coordinated and intelligence-led operation that lasted two days and seized the hard drugs.
The drugs were seized at a warehouse where they were hidden at No. 6, Olukunola Street, Solebo estate, Ikorodu, with five suspects, including a Jamaican, arrested.
Following the historical seizure, which is the largest in the agency’s history, an order of a Federal High Court in Lagos was immediately obtained for public destruction of the consignment.
Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA, Retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, assured that tougher time awaits drug barons and the cartels operating in the country, if they failed to back out of their criminal trade and embrace legitimate ventures.
Marwa, who led other stakeholders to crush and set ablaze the recovered drugs in Badagry area of the state, maintained that the agency would not succumb to the activities of illicit drug traffickers and addicts.
Represented by the agency’s Director, Prosecution and Legal Services/Deputy Commander-General of Narcotics, (DCGN), Mr Sunday Joseph, Marwa put the value of the seized drugs at N194.8 billion.
“This speaks volume about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld,” he said, adding that this had made it imperative for Nigerians to continue to support NDLEA in its renewed war against illicit drugs.
“Out of this 1.8-ton seizure, 1,828 blocks of the cocaine will be crushed and set ablaze, while the remnant will be secured for purpose of prosecution of the suspects.
“The suspects were brought to witness the procedure and sign the certificate of destruction,” he said.
According to Marwa, the agency will be proceeding with the prosecution of those arrested in connection with the consignment.
“On this, the public can rest assured that NDLEA shall pursue the trial to a logical conclusion.
“Since Jan. 25, 2021, when we commenced our offensive action against drug traffickers, NDLEA has secured record convictions.
“Presently, 2,904 drug offenders are serving various jail terms, while other cases are ongoing in court, which we are confident will end in positive results too,” he said.
The NDLEA chairman warned the drug underworld that the busting of the syndicate responsible for the seized drugs was a message to drug cartels that their investments in the illicit drug trade would go up in flames.
He expressed appreciation to the agency’s international partners, especially the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA) that supported the cocaine syndicate bust.
Marwa also applauded the Nigerian military for providing additional firepower during the operation as well as other law enforcement agencies that had been supporting the agency’s efforts to rid Nigeria of illicit drugs.
The NDLEA chairman, who said that the safety of the society should be the responsibility of everyone, called for more support for the agency.
The agency had, in a similar operation on Aug. 4 in Lagos, destroyed illicit drugs of over 560,068 kg.
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