CAC Yusuf, Malanta taking stock of the seizure.
Story by Dili Utomi.
In a sting operation reminiscent of an action packed television detective programme, a collaborative Operation by the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Navy, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Nigerian Police and the International Police ( Interpol) has yielded a large amount of cocaine.
In the operation, thirty parcels weighing 32.9 Kilograms of cocaine were uncovered at the Apapa Port right inside the MV Chayanee Naree, a cargo vessel that came from Brazil, South America.
The joint operation was initiated following intelligence about the ship’s content shared by interpol to the various agencies which necessitated close monitoring of the ship using high maritime domain awareness system.
The headquarters of the NCS had directed Apapa Command to follow up on the ship with other government agencies. This was jointly and intelligently done for days.
After meticulously searching the vessel with the aid of sniffer dogs, the suspected substance was discovered and referred to the NDLEA for tests, which confirmed it to be cocaine.
The vessel had departed Santos, Brazil on September 19, 2021 and drifted for about a week off the coast of Benin Republic from October I to October 8 2021 when it arrived Nigeria.
Intelligence report obtained from the ship’s captain confirmed that Brazil Customs had earlier intercepted 150kg of cocaine from one of the ship’s compartments when she berthed at Sopep Locker, Brazil on September 19,2021.
The ship was berthed under arrest at Terminal C in Apapa where the security agencies did a search on her.
The Customs Area Controller of Apapa Command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf said the command relied on provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) sections 49, 50 and 51 to conduct the exercise. Comptroller Yusuf who said the discoverd drug has been kept in the custody of NDLEA, commended the synergy between the different agencies and described it as very productive. He added that more search is ongoing in the vessel and any additional discovery will be made known to the public.
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