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I87,791 kg drug bust: NDLEA wants terminal operators to reexamine customers

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA) has advised terminal owners and operators to always reexamine their customers to prevent the proliferation of drug cartels within the seaports.

The Commander, Apapa Special Area Command of NDLEA, Mr Ameh Inalegwu , Nacortic Commander ( CN), made the appeal at the War Against Drug Abuse ( WADA) programme organised for seaport terminal owners and operators in Lagos on Thursday .

FELLOW PRESS reports that WADA is an advocacy campaign launched on June 26, 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari .

“ The campaign is to create awareness that will suffuse society with anti-drug culture.”

According to the commander, a total of 187, 791 kilogrammes of assorted drugs were seized by the NDLEA as well as arrested 15 suspects comprising Nigerians and expatriates in the last six months .

“ A huge quantity of the illicit drugs came into the country through the waterways and these drugs range from Cannabis, Cocaine, Tramadol to Captagon, ” he said.

Inalegwu stressed that it was very worrisome that some of these arrests and seizures were made at the terminals.

“ The most unfortunate and frustrating thing is the claim by the terminal operators of not knowing the importers or the owners of the seized containers,” the commander said.

He said that the NDLEA was was organising the training for the terminal owners and operators to enhance their capacities on how they could reexamine their customers and their operations.

The Director, Seaport Operations, Mrs Omolade Faboyede, at the event pointed out that the volume of drugs moved through a single shipment would take any other mode of transportation several times to move.

Faboyode called for effective blockage of maritime corridors to win the war against illicit drug trafficking.

She said, ” If you ask me what exactly we want from owners and operators, I will say three things.

“Number one is intelligence, number two is intelligence and number three is intelligence again,’’ she said .

The NDLEA’s Assistant Commander-General of Narcotics (ACGN), Mr Segun Oke, while conducting the training said that the menace of drug abuse in the country was worrisome.

He highlighted them to include: robbery, burglary, rape, vandalism, an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

Oke, who is also the Zonal Commander, NDLEA Zone H , which comprises Lagos State and Ogun , said that terminal owners and operators needed to be more proactive in the fight against drug trafficking.

“On March 7, this Special Areea Command intercepted about three million of opioid capsules of Tapentadol and Caprisoprodol .

“ The terminal operators and owners should reexamine themselves, their.customers, and even their workers,” he said.

He said that owners and operators must ensure that NDLEA officials are contacted before opening any consignment brought into their domain.

“Yhe NDLEA will not hesitate to deal with owners and operators who assist drug criminals, “ Oke said.

Mr Oladotun Ojuri, the Managing Director of Michelle Bonded Terminal who spoke on behalf of owners and operators commended the NDLEA for engaging them in the campaign.

Ojuri promised the agency that the terminal owners and operators would be more observant and ensue due diligence in the discharge of seaport operations.

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