By Eguono Odjegba
SUSPECTED smugglers recently abandoned cannabis estimated at N32.8 million at the bordering creek of Yekeme-Badagry, while escaping from men of the Western Marine Command, WMC, of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, who intercepted the banned substances and evacuated it to its operational headquarters at Coconut, Olodi-Apapa, Lagos.
The Customs Area Controller, CAC, of the command, Boyiliya Binga, while handing over the substances believed to weigh about a tonne to operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, said the command made a total seizure of 2,035 bags of foreign parboiled rice with Duty Paid Value of N44.97 million in the first quarter of the year.
He said, “We also made seizures of various items like frozen poultry products, foreign parboiled rice and cannabis from different places within our area of coverage.”
Binga noted that operatives of the command were getting all necessary training to improve on their operability, even as he mentioned that the service’s management teams were working hard to ensure that its two sea-going vessels still on anchor at Marina Lagos is completed and launched as soon as possible. According to him, the preparation to launch the boats have reached advanced stage; while officers of the service have been trained to man the vessels.
Director of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Seme /Kraker, Mr Udotong Essien, commended the service and Binga for his display of honesty and inter-agency cooperation, noting the selfless disposition of the Customs.
“It takes integrity for the Controller to transfer this amount of seizure. Don’t forget we are talking of over N30million worth of hard drugs here. I am very sure if he wanted to compromise, he would have taken such amount of money. There are some agencies that make such seizure and pretend not to know what to do,” he said.