A Rage Against Drugs Smuggling:
* Western Marine Customs destroys 10 tonnes of Cannabis Sativa worth N1.2bn
* Badagry Council boss describes the seizure as spectacular
*Police expresses readiness for continuous collaboration
Pictures taken during destruction of the drugs:
The Customs Area Controller, CAC, Western Marine Command, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters and his officers have made Nigeria Customs Service and the whole country proud for their resilience and doggedness in stemming the tide against illicit trade, especially drugs smuggling through the creeks and waterways.
This was evidence in the seizure and destruction of 10 tonnes of Cannabis Sativa by the Command.
The destruction exercise well coordinated at Falola Beach, Badagry, Lagos, was carried out on June 26, 2020, to mark UN International Day against Drug Abuse and illicit trafficking.
In his opening remarks, Comptroller Peters explained that the date was carefully selected to mark the importance of the fight against drug abuse and trafficking with the sister agency-National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Comptroller Peters informed, “Today’s event is novel, unique and unprecedented. Unique in the sense that today is the UN International Day against drug abuse and trafficking. The theme of this year’s celebration is, ‘Better Knowledge for Better Care’. The aim is to raise awareness on major problems illicit drugs represent in the society, the illegal trade and economic harm it does to nations across the world”.
He continued, “The UN International Day against drug abuse is always supported by individuals, communities like Badagry West Local Government Area and various organizations, such as NDLEA, Navy, Army, Police and other security agencies all over the world. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) over the years is involved in launching campaigns to mobilise support for drugs control. It encourages people to take part in these campaigns”.
The CAC frowned, “The negative effects of hard drugs on the society cannot be over emphasised because it causes chronic health effects like lungs inflammation, airways injury and epithelial injury of the trachea. It impairs cognitive development and psychomotor performance”.
Comptroller Peter enthused, “We are happy that the Customs Management is giving us the necessary backing and motivation. We will continue to do our work without fear of favour. Imagine if these drugs had entered the market, the enormous danger these would caused in the country.”
Speaking further, the CAC revealed, “The drugs were seized at Agaja Beach, an exit point on the high sea, at 1200hrs on April 21, 2020. It is classifiable in Schedule 2, Section 2,(as Vegetable Products), page 34 of ECOWAS Common External Tariff (ECT), HS Code 06029000 of 5 percent duty and 7.5 percent VAT, declared as illegal by the Federal Government of Nigeria”.
More so, the exercise was also a moment of encomiums for Comptroller Peters and his officers, as Traditional Rulers, Senior Customs officers, community leaders, as well as representatives of various security agencies, commended them for their high level of intelligence in intercepting the Cannabis on high sea.
The Chairman of Badagry West Local Government, Mr Joseph Gbenu, began the commendation by expressing great pleasure on the fearlessness of Marine Customs team in tracking such dangerous drugs despite the dangers at sea, even as he described the seizure as spectacular
Also, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Marine Unit, Mr Taiwo Adeleke, described Comptroller Peters and his men as a formidable team, stressing that their hard work and selfless service brought honour not only to Nigeria Customs but the entire country.
He emphasised, “The Nigerian Police will continue to work in synergy with Customs to curb criminalities in all ramifications”.
Also speaking, the Customs Area Controller of Seme Border Command, DC Cheidi Wada, who witnessed the destruction, commended Western Marine operatives for their swiftness in weathering the storm on high sea for many days to secure the seizure.
In his closing remarks, Comptroller Peters thanked Nigerian Army, Navy, NDLEA, Police and other security agencies for working in collaboration with his Command to curb smuggling. “We are resolute, un-deterred and will continue to frustrate smugglers on the waterways”, he maintained.
The exercise ended, as representatives of different agencies jointly signed the certificate of destruction, after setting the drugs on fire.