Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has revealed that between February and May 2022, the Command intercepted Cannabis Sativa worth N168million on waterways within Lagos State.
The Western Marine Command of the NCS disclosed this at a media briefing where the Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Abubakar Umar noted that the illicit substances were seized on the 30th of March, 2022 after credible intelligence was made available to the Command.
His words: “The operatives of the Command while on credible intelligence accosted and intercepted 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 equivalent to 2,520 pieces of Cannabis Sativa weighing a total of 1,437Kg.”
“The street value of the marijuana is 168, 000.000. This is a case of absolute prohibition and contravenes Section 24(b) of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004 as amended.”
He noted that in another incident, on Thursday, April 7th, 2022 at about 1930hrs; the Command’s operatives while on credible intelligence along Badagry waterways intercepted a wooden boat laden with foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from Benin Republic.
“The smuggled foreign rice and its means of conveyance were brought to the Command for examination. On physical examination it was found to be Five Hundred and Three (503) Bags of foreign parboiled rice. In a related development, On Wednesday 25 May 2022 at about 1900hrs, following credible intelligence, the operatives of the Command intercepted and arrested Two (2) wooden boats laden with foreign parboiled rice at Oniru Beach. The boats and the smuggled foreign rice were counted and found to be One Hundred and Thirty Six (136) Bags of foreign parboiled rice,” he said.
Comptroller Umar disclosed that under his watch, the operatives of the Command have arrested and seized 828 bags of foreign rice suspected to be smuggled from Benin Republic with Duty Paid Value of N29,684,000.
Other smuggled items intercepted by the Command’s operatives at different locations around Idiroko, Badagry, Bar-Beach and Sea side 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; 250 Sachets of Pepper Onion Tomato 71 Pairs of Second Hand Shoes; 10 Sacks of Second Hand Clothing s of 4 Boats and 2 Engines as means conveyance.
While stating that the total DPV of the seizures is N190, 145,500, he posited that due to the nature of the seized PMS, the Command on the approval of the headquarters auctioned the product and the amount generated was remitted to the Federation’s accounts.
As part of inter-agency collaboration, the Customs boss handed over the Cannabis Sativa to the Commander, Marine Unit of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Commander Isaac Oza.
Comptroller Umar also noted that success at the Command wouldn’t have occurred without the support of the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and his Management team; even as he commended the officers at the Command for their diligence and patriotism.
“We would continue to engage the traditional and community leaders through the Customs Community relations Forum, to address smuggling activities in their axis as well as engage in Intensive patrol and surveillance of the waterways, to send smugglers out of business,” he assured.