By Maritime Security News
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Tincan Island Port Command (TCIP) on Tuesday handed over case file, suspect and vessel carrying cocaine to the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA).The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Mba Musa in a media conference noted that the cocaine was contained in a vessel MV SPAR SCORPIO.He added that the vessel with rotation No. 78/21 of Jan. 18 was laden with 42,000 metric tonnes of raw sugar imported from Santos Brazil.According to him, the Boarding Officer of the Enforcement Unit on Feb. 8, and at about 11.03 hours reported that at Josepdam Terminal, the vessel MV SPAR SCORPIO coming from Brazil to Tincan Island Port discharged two bags of forty packages earlier suspected to be hard drugs.“The vessel came in with a crew list of 20, visited eleven ports of call including Brazil, USA, Panama, Korea and no issue of drugs were reported on arrival.“This development promoted Josepdam officials to draw the attention of the Principal Staff Officer of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mr Ola who in turn notified the NDLEA who arrived and took over the substance from Josepdam officials.“The substance was examined in the presence of regulatory agencies and the two bags of 40 packages of compressed cocaine declared weight was 100.0 pounds, 43.11kg as stated in the Josepdam incident report of Feb. 9.“Sequel to that, the command issued a Detention Notice on the vessel with reference No. NCS/TCIP/ENF/EC/VOL. XV/218 dated Feb. 8 and consequently commenced investigation on the circumstances surrounding the important and eventual interception of the drugs,” he said.Musa added that the suspects had been confined to the vessel and the vessels guarded by enforcement officers in line with a court order.He said that the Command had concluded it’s examination on the subject and handed over the case file to the legal adviser of the NCS for further investigating.He noted that unfortunately, they could not give further details on the case which was already in court as any other statement might jeopardize investigation.Mr Smart Akande, NCS Legal Adviser, noted that the essential part of today’s event was the demonstration of agency collaboration in the part of the NCS, adding that they always adhere to the rule of law and procedure. “We are mindful of the fact that the mandate to prosecute and investigate for drugs is expressively preserved for NDLEA. “When we discovered this drugs and investigating commenced, we did our part and now we are handing over to the NDLEA the suspect and the ship. “From the sidelines we will monitor the progress of the matter and we will assist them when need be so that they can do things well.“So we now hand over the case file that contains all documents, the statement and all documents that wi assist you,” he said.Mr Adeofe Adeyemi, Director of Operations and General Investigating assured everybody that investigating was going on in the case, it had gone far and even extended to the source of the vessel which was Brazil.“We appreciate the NCS for this handover, the synergy and all that they are doing for NDLEA, and we assure you that we all working for the same course in the interest of national security.“We believe in the shortest time everything be concluded but due to the case being in court, we cannot reveal to the public what we have done,” he said.