The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT on Wednesday handed over 2,640kg of substance, suspected to be cannabis sativa worth N200 million, to the Nigerian Drug Law Agency (NDLEA) in Lagos.
The Commander, NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga, handed over the exhibits to NDLEA officials at NNS BEECROFT, Apapa, Lagos.
Mid-Right) Commander, NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga handing over confiscated drugs to NDLEA Marine Commander, Paul Ahom, alongside other officials.
Oguntuga said that the exhibits contained in 66 bags, which weighed 40kg each, were confiscated around Iworo, Ibeshe and Badagry area of Lagos State.
“It is expected that the NDLEA will continue with the investigation and go ahead to take the necessary actions needed to handle this kind of substance,” he said.
The commander said the achievement was made possible by the Nigerian Navy state-of-the-art technology; the Falcon Eye Alignment which was a sophisticated maritime domain awareness facility.
“This facility has a 24 hours surveillance of Nigerias maritime environment in order to detect any kind of illegality within the maritime environment.
“The alignment detected some boats operating within the maritime environment around Iworo, Ibeshe and Badagry general area of Lagos State.
“However, by the time our men arrived, the perpetrators had absconded but we were able to apprehend the substances that will have been smuggled into the state,” he said.
Oguntuga said that the Nigerian Navy, under the leadership of Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, remained resolute toward ensuring perpetrators of nefarious activities were not seen within the maritime environment.
“We understand the relationship between crime, violence and taking drugs, that is why the Nigerian Navy will continue to thwart and prevent such acts from materialising.
“I assure Nigerians that the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with the appropriate security agencies will leave no stone unturn, to ensure a safe and secure environment.
“The maritime environment will continue to remain safe for individuals who are carrying about their legitimate duties for the economic prosperity of our nation,” he said.
Oguntuga advised criminals to desist from such acts, stating that the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies would continue to go after them to end such illegalities.
He added that navy patrol teams were always on standby to respond to intelligence recieved from the Falcon Eye Alignment.
“And anytime suspected vessels are identified within the maritime environment, vessels and boats will be vectored to such area to intercept and prevent them before they get into the state,” Oguntuga said.
In the same vein, Paul Ahom, the Commander of Narcotics, NDLEA, Western Marine Command, Lagos, applauded NNS BEECROFT in the fight against marine crime and other illegalities within the marine environment.
Ahom said that NNS BEECROFT had been doing a great job in combating crime and drug trafficking around the western command.
“Nigerian water is a destination for drug trafficking and the NDLEA alone cannot do it. It has to be done successfully with the collaboration and synergy of the Nigerian Navy.
“In recent times, the NNS BEECROFT has complemented the efforts of the NDLEA by intercepting and transferring a high preponderance of drug exhibits to the NDLEA.
“This has gone a long way in curbing the menace of drug trade that has come to ravage our country and put the name of our country into disrepute,” he said.
Ahom said that interagency collaboration with other sister agencies, particularly the Nigerian Navy had helped the NDLEA in sustaining the fight against drug trafficking within the maritime domain.
“It is very difficult to exterminate drug trafficking world wide, however, we are providing a palliative measure and try to reduce it to the barest minimum.
“We have an existing strategy known as War Against Drug Abuse (WADA); the essence of this is to propagate the message to rural areas, communities, churches and unions.
“The message is based on awareness campaign to sensitise people to the dangers inherent in drug abuse,” the marine commander said.
——–Hands Over Cannabis Sativa Valued N35m To NDLEA In Badagry
Meanwhile, the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy, Badagry, Lagos State, on Wednesday handed over 27 sacks of cannabis sativa worth N35 million to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Badagry.
The Commanding Officer, FOB, Badagry, Navy Capt. Aiwuyor Adams-Aliu, said this at the press briefing on Wednesday in Badagry.
According to the Commanding Officer, operatives of the base seized the items on Sept. 29 at Pako Beach, close to Ajido, Seaside of the Base, in Badagry.
“On Sept. 29, at about 7.00.p.m, the Nigerian Navy FOB got an intelligence tip-off of suspected smuggling activities within our own area of operations.
“The intelligence indicated that a boat was sighted offloading products suspected to be cannabis sativa at Pako, close to Ajodi, Seaside of the Base.
“Consequently, the Base Quick Response Team, led by the Base Operations Officer and Base Intelligence Officer proceeded immediately to the scene of the crime for investigation and possible arrest.
“Sighting the team, the smugglers abandoned the narcotics at the beach and ran away. Subsequently, a total of 27 sacks of suspected products valued at about N35 million were recovered.
“The adjoining communities were also raided but neither products nor suspects were found,” he said.
Adam-Aliu, who said investigation was ongoing in conjunction with other security agencies to identify the drug trafficking syndicate, added that those found culpable would be arraigned.
He admonished criminal elements bringing drugs and illegal consignment into Nigeria to have a rethink, saying that it would be difficult to meander through the Nigerian waters under the leadership of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral EI Ogalla.
“It is impossible to do so because we will see you with our surveillance equipment and I will arrest you and ensure the arrest ends in prosecution. Nigeria waterways are not for illegality,” he said.
Receiving the exhibit, Mr Owen Dinneys, the Commander of Narcotics, Area Commander, Seme Special Command of NDLEA, promised that investigation would begin on the seized items.
“We will ensure that whoever that is involved in the illegal drugs smuggling into the country is apprehended and justice will be done,” he said