In a significant stride against the illicit trade of narcotics, the Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) orchestrated a commendable operation, culminating in the apprehension of a substantial quantity of Cannabis Sativa (commonly known as Marijuana) and Tramadol capsules. The operation unfolded in the early hours of Thursday, August 3, 2023, in the coastal waters off Ibeju Lekki.
Armed with precise intelligence, a joint patrol team comprising vigilant Marine patrol officers embarked on a mission to thwart an impending drug smuggling endeavor. Information had surfaced that a large shipment of Marijuana was en route to Nigeria via the western waterways from a neighboring country.
At about 4:00am, the patrol team intercepted a wooden boat powered by two Yamaha outboard engines, each boasting 40 horsepower. The vessel was laden with 103 sacks, the contents of which aroused immediate suspicion as Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana). Upon spotting the approaching patrol team, the smugglers resorted to evasive action, diving into the water and abandoning their boat along with its illegal cargo.
The seized contraband, upon arrival at the Western Marine Command Headquarters in Ibafon, Apapa, was confirmed to consist of 8,240 parcels (loaves) of Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana), weighing a total of 3,811 kilograms. The duty paid value of this substantial Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana) seizure amounted to an astounding N692,160,000 (Six Hundred and Ninety-Two Million, One Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira Only).
In addition to the drug haul, the duty paid value of the wooden boat and the two Yamaha outboard engines was calculated at N7,350,000 (Seven Million, Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira Only). Together, these figures reflected 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.
This successful operation underscores the ongoing efforts of the Western Marine Command to combat smuggling and illicit trade, safeguarding the nation’s economy and public health. The insidious allure of quick wealth through smuggling poses a grave threat to both economic stability and the well-being of citizens, especially in the case of drug trafficking.
Customs Area Controller Compt. OA Salefu expressed profound appreciation for the support of the media and the general public, emphasizing the importance of collective action in eradicating these detrimental trade practices. He also conveyed his gratitude to the leadership of the Nigeria Customs Service, pledging unwavering loyalty to the mission of protecting the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This resolute action by the Western Marine Command serves as a testament to the dedication of law enforcement agencies in curbing drug smuggling and preserving the nation’s welfare.
The intercepted drugs were promptly handed over to the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).