Large sacks of intercepted cannabis.<br />PHOTO: NAN
The Nigerian Navy (NNS) has intercepted 463 bags of Cannabis sativa worth over N500 million during a routine sea patrol off Lagos Fairway buoy.
The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT, Commodore Malami Haruna, who disclosed in a statement yesterday, signed by the Command Information Officer, Commander Edward Yeibo, said the suspects on sighting the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service (NNSBS) patrol boats jumped into a speed boat and sped off, adding that efforts are being made to apprehend them .
He said: “ The boat laden with the contraband was intercepted on May 21 and was towed to base for further investigation.
“ Our preliminary investigations revealed that the boat was loaded with about 463 large sacks of compressed Cannabis sativa (marijuana) worth more than N500m in the local market, amongst other items.
“The hard drugs would be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in line with extant regulations for the arrest and handover of suspects and evidence to appropriate agencies.”
He stressed that prevention of such large quantities of hard drugs from entering the society would serve to reduce drug intakes that made youths commit crimes in the society.
Recall that in October 2020, NNS BEECROFT arrested two vessels for trafficking 32.9kg and 13.65kg of cocaine worth over N10 billion in local market, while in January, the Navy intercepted 261 bags of Cannabis sativa worth over N100 million during Christmas and New Year holidays.
Haruna said: “ It has also deprived the owners of the contraband the funds to sustain their operations. Accordingly, I would like to use this avenue to warn drug traffickers and other economic saboteurs, that Nigerian Navy under the leadership of Vice Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, maintains zero tolerance to criminalities and will not relent in its drive to rid the nation’s maritime space of all illegalities such as drug trafficking and oil theft, amongst others.”
He commended the patrol teams for their commitment and unalloyed loyalty in living up to assigned responsibilities of the Western Naval Command.