By Godfrey Bivbere, Ifeyinwa Obi & Ifeanyi Okolie
Joint Task Force, JTF, on Customs Physical Examination of goods, yesterday, impounded 165 kilogrammes of substances suspected to be Cocaine at Tin Can Port, with a street value of about 10.2 million pounds (about N2.55 billion).
The drugs, which were concealed in 36 cartoons, came in from Bolivia and impounded based on a tip off to the Customs, which then notified other security agencies.
The consignment, which came in Container No. MSCU 128723/1 aboard a vessel, MV Aldebaran, according to official sources, arrived the Tin Can Port, en-route Apapa Port on December 25, 2010, with a declaration that it came with building materials, particularly marbles.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Chairman/Chief Executive, Ahmadu Giade, said that the intelligence that led to the drug burst was supplied by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. He stressed that the Agency will remain vigilant and resist the use of the country’s sea ports for drug trafficking.
Giade said, “this is yet another breakthrough resulting from cordial working relations with the United States government.” He added that investigation was ongoing and that the ports had been placed on full alert.
When contacted, the Public Relation Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, confirmed to Vanguard that there was actually a seizure of Cocaine. He disclosed, however, that the seizure was as a result of a combined effort by the Customs and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.”
A source told Vanguard that the “Cocaine quantity seized is 165 kilogrammes, packaged in four wraps in cartons with each wrap weighing 1.1 kilogram and a total of 36 cartoons. All with a street value of about 10.2 million pounds (about N2.55 billion).
“The container was being mistakenly off-loaded at Tin Can. We simply altered arrangements and brought the ‘sentries’ to Tin Can while we stake out the importers and the agents,” said the source.
The source hinted that the drugs were perfectly tucked inside the marbles imported.