NDLEA seizes over N130bn drugs in 17 months

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, says that between January 2021 to May 2022, the agency has seized over 3.5million kilograms of hard drugs.

The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, in an exclusive chat with our correspondent in Lagos, on Thursday, said that the agency also arrested over 17, 600 suspects within the period under review.

The agency said it impounded drugs worth over N130bn in one year.

He said that the agency had so far recorded 80 per cent success in the fight against importation of hard drugs.

“I believe at the moment we have achieved over 80 per cent success because of the seizure of over 3.5m kilograms of in just one and half years between January to May 2022 with over 17,600 arrests. So, definitely, we have made some decisive moves and we are not resting; we will make sure we cripple their activities.”

Babafemi said that NDLEA had partnered with the Nigerian Navy for easy patrol on the waterways.

“And that is why recently, you see our partnership with the Nigerian Navy who also helped us with some boats and other equipment to intensify our patrol on the water channels.”

Explaining why there were massive seizures of some of these consignments around Eko Atlantic, he said, “But because they find it difficult to come though the seaports, airports and land orders without being frustrated, they have now decided to go through the lagoon channels. That was the reason for the massive seizures in the Eko Atlantic City area.

“So instead of them bringing these things directly, they go through the neighbouring countries so that they will be able to come in through the back door into our own territory. So, that is why you see some of those things coming in through either Niger, Ghana or the Benin Republic.”

He said, “The global scourge where cartels make a lot of money, the greed and desperation to make money at all costs have overwhelmed their sense of logical reasoning. And, so, they defy the deterrents put in place by security agencies. And because of the desperation, they take all the risks but, unfortunately for them, they are losing it all. They are losing the money they invested in bringing these drugs and also losing their freedom. At the same time, they are losing all the assets they have acquired through this illegal trade.”

He said that the agency was engaging the government of the neighbouring countries on the best ways to fight the menace.

Article first published on the Punch Website

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