Sacks of Indian hemp
By John Iwori
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 60 bags of Indian hemp along llikimu-llara area, Ogun State. The hard drugs were seized during a recent operation in the command, near Nigeria’s border with the Republic of Benein.
Customs Area Controller (CAC), Ogun State Command, Deputy Comptroller Akande Bamidele, who revealed this to journalists, explained that the weight and value of the seizure, as determined by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) was put at 300 kilogrammes, with a duty paid value (DPV) of N600,000.
He reiterated that men and officers of the command were battle-ready for smugglers of contraband in its area of jurisdiction.
Bamidele who is barely a month in office following the redeployment of his predecessor, Deputy Comptroller Richard Oteri, stated that the seizure was made in line with one of the cardinal principles of NCS, which is, inter-agency co-operation.
“We must continue to secure lives, properties of Nigerians, territorial integrity of the country and protection from all forms of prohibited and unwholesome goods”, he said.
The CAC, who formally handed over the items to officials of NDLEA, said: “we are hereby formally handing over the seizure to NDLEA as the relevant agency charged with issues of narcotics and drugs related matters in the country.
“We have huge work to do in Ogun Command, and I have no doubt that the media will continue to partner us in areas of giving useful information that will assist officers in the anti-smuggling effort and at the same time inform and educate the smuggling community in Ogun about the evil and danger inherent in smuggling”, he added.
He disclosed that no one was arrested in connection with the seizure because as he put it: "the offensive items were abandoned by suspected Beninnois smugglers in a forest, while waiting to be carted away by their Nigerian counterparts.
“Our officers acted on information that some bags of Indian hemp were deposited somewhere in the forest around the borderline within Benin Republic and were awaiting transportation to Nigeria’s hinterland. Officers laid ambush for a whole day around the scene of crime without anyone coming forward to collect the items. Therefore we had to secure the seizure”, he added.