Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Maruwa (Rtd.), Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA

Drug Trafficking: How assets seizure will weaken criminal cartels ─NDLEA

*Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Maruwa (Retd), Chairman/Chief Executive of Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency urges African regulators to consider confiscation of drug traffickers’ properties as a veritable tool that will weaken criminal networks

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In order to curb the growing menace of drug trafficking and substance abuse with their devastating consequences on individual consumers and the entire society, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has charged other Heads of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies on the African continent to consider targeting the assets.

Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Maruwa (Rtd.), Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, who hinted at this at a forum Tuesday, September 21, 2021, said that the measure is a veritable tool that will weaken criminal drug networks.

The forum was the virtual extraordinary session for Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies to share experiences and best practices in efforts at addressing and countering the world drug problem, Channels TV report said.

Marwa explained the disruption of the traditional criminal trafficking routes means that law enforcement personnel must be familiar with new technologies, techniques, and strategies employed by organised criminal groups and traffickers.

He stated: “In order to proactively deal with these new challenges, there is, therefore, an urgent need to strengthen international cooperation in identifying and managing evolving challenges in drug trafficking.

“We must continue to weaken criminal drug networks through effective asset tracking and confiscation.”

The Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA further said: “We should, therefore, deepen international cooperation to address the increasing links between transnational organised crime, corruption, illicit financial flows, trafficking in drugs and related crimes.

“Let us not spare any effort in eliminating barriers to effective collaboration as we demonstrate commitment to our shared responsibilities.”

He was also quoted to have informed his counterparts in other African countries, that Nigeria has remained dynamic in its counter-narcotic operations in line with the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire by drug trafficking cartels to explore new markets and routes in furtherance of their criminal activities.

Marwa stated: “We are taking steps to tackle the online distribution of narcotic drugs, which has become prevalent among organised drug trafficking criminal groups, particularly since the global shut down last year.

“In the last eight months, Nigeria has made over 8,634 arrests with 1,630 convictions. Over two million kilograms of drugs seized with over N100billion in cash and seized drugs.”

According to him, among other proactive steps, Nigeria has addressed and countered the various aspects of the drug problem.

“We have developed the 4th edition of our National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) 2021-2025, with four strategic pillars namely: Supply reduction, Demand reduction, Access to Controlled Medicines for medical purposes, Governance and Coordination.

“As part of our control programs, the country recently launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) to further amplify the national drive on both drug supply and drug demand reduction. As a result, we are collaborating with all levels of government, civil-society groups, Non-governmental Organizations, schools and relevant institutions,” said he.

He therefore, stressed the importance of strengthening international cooperation in addressing drug trafficking and other forms of transnational organised crimes, especially on the African continent.

“Nigeria is committed to strong regional alliances which in the short term could be fostered through Memoranda of Understanding between our different agencies in the African Continent and beyond.

“A good example was the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed between the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Drug Law Enforcement Agency of the Gambia (DLEA),” he added.

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