President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for intercepting 233,699.875kg of narcotics in 2012, destruction of 1,404.27 hectares of cannabis plantation with the arrest of 8,052 suspected drug traffickers comprising 7,510 males and 542 females. The president’s satisfaction was conveyed in a letter addressed to the Agency and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
The drug seizures with an estimated street value of over 33 billion naira consist of 228,794.13kg of cannabis, 3,905.447kg of psychotropic substances, 461.15kg of ephedrine, 211.325kg of heroin, 176.55kg of methamphetamine, 131.888kg of cocaine and 19.385kg of amphetamine. The NDLEA also successfully prosecuted 1,720 persons for various drug offences.
Senator Anyim stated that “I am to convey Mr. President’s commendation of the efforts of the NDLEA in combating the rising trend in the demand for and traffic on narcotic drugs and psycvhotropic substances in the country”. President Goodluck also encouraged the anti-narcotic Agency not to relent in its laudable drug control efforts.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade while promising to dislodge more drug trafficking cartels described the president’s commendation as highly motivating. In his words, “this commendation is highly motivating and will further propel us to go the extra mile in our selfless service to humanity. Drug control is a compulsory battle for any society that places value on public safety and security. We shall continue to dislodge more drug trafficking syndicates because anytime we intercept drug from criminals; we are indirectly saving lives”.
The NDLEA boss expressed concern over the use of 1,404.27 hectares of land for cannabis plantation in the year under review. “We must rise up to the challenge of cannabis cultivation in the country. It is sad and disturbing that most farmers are now abandoning food and economic crops for cannabis. This 1,404.27 hectares of land could have changed the fortunes of our agricultural sector if properly utilised” Giade stated.
Most tricks employed by drug trafficking cartels in 2012 and detected by the NDLEA includes heroin prepared in tiny threadlike manner and woven in woollen rug carpets imported from Pakistan. It was sent as unaccompanied cargo through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos and detected by the sniffer dogs. Another seizure of heroin from Pakistan intercepted at the airport was hidden inside cartons of footballs.
However, the largest seizure of heroin in 2012 was hidden in heavy steel moulding machines which were cut open by industrial welders before the drugs were found. This illicit shipment also came from Pakistan through the Tin Can Island Port, Lagos.
There was a case of a 48 year old widow who concealed 66 wraps of methamphetamine weighing one kilogramme in her private parts. She was to board a Kenyan Airways flight to Nairobi when she was apprehended. Equally strange was the industrial concealment of 2.472kg of cocaine in ear rings, buttons, necklaces, bangles as well as in female belts. This consignment originated from Brazil through the Lagos airport.
Other methods used by drug traffickers in drug concealment include fried chicken imported from Brazil, industrially packed tins of sardines as well as herbal syrups.
Head, Public Affairs