By Sandra Chukwunyere
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Western Marine Command on Thursday has said that between February and May 2022,the Command seized Cannabis sativa worth One Hundred and Sixty-Eghty Million Naira (N168,000,000.00 ) only on waterways within Lagos.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC),Comptroller Abubakar Umar made this known while addressing journalists, said that the illicit substances were seized on the 30th March,2022 after credible intelligence was made available to the Command. He said ” the Operatives of the Command while on credible intelligence accosted and a wooden boat at Oko-Aja beach containing sacks suspected to be Cannabis Sativa”
“The goods were brought to the WMC: upon physical examination and counting, it was found to be 32 sacks i.e Two Thousand Five Hundred and Twenty pieces of Cannabis Sativa weighing a total of One Thousand Four Hundred and Thirty Seven Kilogram (1.437Kg)”
“The Street Value of the Marijuana is One Hundred and Sixty Eight Million, Naira (N168, 000,000.00) only. This is a case of absolute prohibition and contravenes Section 24(b) of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004 as amended”
CAC also explained that the Command, on the 7th of April seized Five Hundred and three bags of Foreign parboiled rice smuggled in from Benin republic on a wooden boat along Badagry waterways and also on the 25th of May this year 2 wooden boats were seized with one hundred and thirty six bags of Foreign parboiled rice at Oniru beach.
Comptroller Umar also revealed that for the period under review the operative of the command under his supervision have seized the total of Eight Hundred and twenty eight bags of Foreign rice suspected to be smuggled in from Benin republic with Duty paid value of Twenty Nine Million sicx hundred and Eighty Four thousand naira only.
The operatives of the Command at different locations like idiroko, Badagry, Bar- Beach and Sea side intercepted different smuggled items which include : Foreign parboiled rice concealed in 35 Jerry cans of vegetable oil, 30 Kegs of premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 8 kegs of vegetable oil, 8 packs of spaghetti Noodles.
Other smuggled items intercepted Include : 250 sachets of pepper Onion Tomato, 71 pairs of second Hand Shoes , 10 packs of second hand clothing, 4 Boats and 2 Engines as means of conveyance.
The total duty paid value (DPV) of the seizures is one hundred and Ninety Million, one hundred and forty Five thousand and five Hundred Naira .
No arrest was made during all these operations as smugglers dive into the sea while some took to their heels on sighting patrol Officers
CAC handed over the seized Cannabis sativa to the Officials of the Nigerian Drug Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA)
In his words: the Marine Commander of NDLEA, Commander of Narcotics, Issac Uzah commended the efforts of the Customs in its support to fight against illicit drug, as part of the existing inter-agency collaboration between the NCS and the NDLEA.
Comptroller Umar noted that this could only be achieved by combined efforts of determined Officers and men of the Command in applying the strategic plan of the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) and his able management team.