Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) and the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi have lauded the synergy between both agencies in discharging their duties.
Gen. Marwa and Mr. Adeniyi disclosed that the partnership is a strong warning to drug cartels that are yet to desist from criminal activities.
This was made known in a statement issued by NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi after the heads of both agencies spoke at the Tin Can Seaport in Lagos on Thursday.
Prior to their speech, Mr. Adeniyi led his team to turn in the illicit drugs seized during joint examination by NDLEA, Customs and other security agencies of containers the anti-narcotic agency had been tracking based on credible intelligence from international partners.
The NDLEA boss, who was represented by Femi Babafemi disclosed that the “handing over of seized illicit drugs in custody of the Nigeria Customs Service is a development that speaks volumes about the hard work and diligence of security agencies tasked with securing the territory of our country. The seizure is a testament that, just like the airports, the sea ports are also secured.
“That we are here today doing this is a testament to the cooperation we received from the Nigeria Customs Service. This level of cooperation between NDLEA and Customs, as well as other security agencies and port stakeholders, is a strong signal to drug cartels that our ports and indeed Nigeria, will not be a haven for their criminal business. The synergy between Customs and NDLEA would further ensure the closing of other loopholes that criminal elements may have capitalised on in the past years to smuggle illicit items into our country.”
He also thanked the leadership, men and officers of the Customs for the joint efforts between both agencies beyond the Tin Can Port in advancing the interest of the country.
His words: “I will also seize this opportunity to commend the officers and men of the Tin Can Command of NDLEA and other special units, including our K-9 unit, involved in the processes leading to these seizures, for their steadfastness since we received intelligence weeks ago from our international partners on the containers from which these drugs were recovered as they departed the port of loading.
“The command and other units had diligently tracked the movement of the containers up to the time of their landing in our port. In the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, NDLEA never hesitated to share intelligence with the Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service and also requested that the command ensure the containers were pinned down for 100 percent examination.”
Similarly, Marwa promised that NDLEA, Nigeria Customs and other security organisations remain committed to ensuring that the country’s territorial integrity is protected.
Meanwhile, the Comptroller General of Customs, Mr. Adeniyi in his remarks stated that the collaborative efforts with the NDLEA have proven effective in pooling resources and intelligence to safeguard the nation’s borders.
“In recognition of the threats and the collaborative nature of criminal activities, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has steadfastly prioritized strategic partnerships with stakeholders over the past seven months. This deliberate focus aims to harness the specialized expertise of our partners in a manner that enhances our capability to fulfil our core mandates,” he said.
Comptroller Adeniyi further stated: “Just as criminals find strength in collaboration, government agencies must equally appreciate the advantages of working collectively to fulfil their statutory responsibilities. It is within this context that the ongoing collaborative efforts between the NCS and the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have consistently yielded positive results.
“This collaborative synergy exemplifies the effectiveness of pooling resources and intelligence, reinforcing the commitment of both agencies to safeguarding the nation’s borders and protecting its citizens from the threats posed by illegal substances.”
According to the statement, the items that were consigned are; 65 packets of Colorado, a strain of cannabis weighing 32.5kg seized from 1X40FT Container No. UACU 534833/6 imported from Canada; 17 parcels of cocaine weighing 16.690kg; 151 parcels of Colorado weighing 107kg; some precursor chemicals among others seized from 1x40ft Container No. MSCU 458177/0 imported from Durban South Africa.
Others are 40 packets of cocaine weighing 39.7kg; 1026 packets of Colorado weighing 688.2kg seized from 40ft container No. THRU 796807/1 imported from Durban South Africa and 226 packets of Colorado weighing 128kg seized from 40ft container No. MEDU 785276/3 imported from Durban South Africa.