By Kenneth Ehigiator
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, weekend, attributed the interception of 130kg of concentrated heroin at the Tin Can Island Container Terminal, Apapa, Lagos, valued at $9.9 million, to assistance from the US government.
Giade also said in a statement in Lagos that the seized heroine was to have been smuggled to Europe before it was intercepted by operatives of the NDLEA.
According to him, the effective collaboration between Nigeria and the US made the haul possible.
“Available intelligence at the agency’s disposal indicates that the shipment was meant for Europe. The operation was discreetly executed as Nigeria is poised to incapacitate drug trafficking syndicates.
“This is a strong warning signal to all drug trafficking cartels that they had better quit the criminal act. Besides denying them the financial gains, they will also be prosecuted,” he said.
Giade lauded the United States government for the growing relationship, noting that it was imperative for the dismantling of drug trafficking syndicates.
He said: “We sincerely appreciate the partnership with the US as it is empowering our drug control capacity.
“The relationship has been mutually beneficial and it will be further consolidated as we plan to vitiate more drug trafficking networks globally.
“International partnership is crucial in winning the war against narcotics. This is cardinal to the Agency and it explains why we deploy every resource in the execution of all intelligence operations.
“Drug barons will be frustrated out of the illicit drug business through similar undercover operation. We have successfully established links with our foreign collaborators and will maximise every opportunity to dismantle drug trafficking cartels in the country and West Africa” Giade promised.
He also stated that the Agency will collaborate with relevant Agencies in its operations. “The Agency will partner with relevant Agencies in line with internationally accepted rules of intelligence gathering.”
The 130kg of concentrated heroin was found in a 40-foot container aboard a vessel, MV Montenegro that originated from the Republic of Iran. The drug was industrially concealed inside auto-parts.
It was however jointly examined by all security agencies at the Port in expectation that the Container was carrying explosives. After the initial inspection and when no explosives were found all agencies left for their various offices.
NDLEA operatives remained and insisted on carrying out more comprehensive examination of the container based on the intelligence available to it.
Industrial welders invited by the Agency had to cut the equipment open to reveal the drugs. This action finally paid off as the drugs were finally traced to some cylindrical equipment in which the substances were found.