Customs hands over N704.5m worth of hemp to NDLEA

The Narcotic Commander, NDLEA, Mr Paul Ahom, and the Customs Controller of the Western Marine Command, Odaudu Salefu, during the handover of cannabis in Lagos on Monday.

The Western Marine Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has handed over 1.7 million wraps of hemp it seized to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Lagos.

Handing over the seizures to NDLEA in Lagos on Monday, the Customs Controller of the Western Marine Command, Odaudu Salefu, said that the hemp was worth N704.5 million.

“The 1266,120 wrapped of cannabis contained in 120 bags and is hereby handed over to NDLEA today.

“The cannabis are seized in three different operations at Jegemo Island, opposite Iworo Ajido Waterfront and Asipa Beach along Seme borders on the 29th of November, 2023, 24th of December, 2023 and 19th of January, 2024.

“After we got the intelligence, our officers sail into the water Jegemo Island at 2:00 a.m. and they took to their heels, while we intercepted the cannabis including their boats and three engine pump.

“The CGC, Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, has directed the Western Marine Command to hand over a total of 120 sacks containing 10,551 loaves of cannabis sativa with a total value of 704,518,000 to Nigeria Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further agency action.

“Today’s event is a product of the hard work, dedication and bravery of my officers, who have worked with diligence and integrity to puncture the reign of smugglers of these hard drugs,” Salefu said.

The customs controller said that the Western Marine Command of Nigerian Customs Service was the flagship Marine Command of the Service.

According to him, the command is one of the four Marine Commands of Nigeria Customs Service, charged with the responsibility of securing the Western Waterways against smuggling activities and unwholesome trade practices.

Salefu said that the command also facilitated legitimate trades in its area of responsibility that run across three states in Western Nigeria, which include Lagos, Ogun, and Ondo states.

Salefu emphasised the importance of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the NCS and NDLEA to enhance cooperation in addressing drug trafficking at Nigeria’s entry and exit points.

He attributed the successful seizure to the command’s extensive intelligence network and collaborative efforts.

Salefu reiterated the commitment of the Western Marine Command to protecting the nation’s economic interests by partnering with other agencies.

He urged citizens to refrain from engaging in illegal cross-border trade due to its detrimental effects on the economy and public health.

Upon receiving the seized hemp, Mr Paul Ahom, the Narcotic Commander of the NDLEA, emphasised the collective responsibility in combating drug trafficking.

He acknowledged the customs officers’ effort in intercepting the drugs and expressed readiness for further collaboration to tackle smuggling activities effectively.

Ahom thanked the Director-General of NDLEA, Buba Maruwa in ensuring menace of illicit drugs was reduced while seeking more collaboration to end it as it endangers the lives of the youth in the society. (NAN).