Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd.), Chairman of NDLEA

Drug Trafficking: How NDLEA arrests 12,306 suspects with N130bn illegal medicines ─Chiarman

*The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency discloses it intercepted drugs and cash amounting to over N130billion between January and December 2021 nationwide, while  Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, remained the epicentre of the spectacular seizures, including the biggest single seizure from an individual in 15 years

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In the regulator’s efforts at ridding Nigeria of illegal drugs and substance abuse, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it intercepted drugs and cash amounting to over N130billion between January and December 2021 across the country.

ConsumerConnect reports Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd.), Chairman of NDLEA disclosed this development at a media briefing to mark his 1st Anniversary in office Monday, January 24, 2022, in Abuja, FCT.

It is recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Marwa as the NDLEA Chairman January 17, 2021, and officially assumed duty January 18 last year.

Previously, the NDLEA Chief had worked as Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA) between 2018 and December 2020 along with others, to develop a blueprint on how to end drug abuse in Nigeria.

The NDLEA Chief also stated that the anti-narcotics agency arrested 12,306 suspects, including seven drug barons within the same period nationwide, just as the organisation had convicted 1, 400 offenders with 1,502 cases pending in court.

Marwa described the achievement as the easiest for him because it also formed part of the development in 2021 that was well-known to the public.

Agency’s 2021 achievements surpassed records of single year in 3 decades ─Marwa

He said: “We can take solace in the fact that our achievements of 2021 surpassed the records of any given year in the last three decades.

“In drug supply reduction, our interdiction efforts yielded unparalleled results, which as of December 31, 2021, we also seized over 3.4million  kilogrammes of assorted drugs.

“We destroyed 406 hectares of cannabis farms and contributed to the consolidated account through asset forfeiture with 7, 761 drug users counselled and rehabilitated in NDLEA facilities.”

According to Marwa, some of the spectacular seizures recorded by the agency since January 2021 include the seizure of 230 tonnes of cannabis February 2021, in Edo State.

The Chairman noted that a recent seizure of over 100 tonnes of psychotropic substance across the country in the past two weeks was not excluded.

Some of the striking seizures include 451,807 captagon tablets, weighing 71.119kg in September 2021 at Apapa Seaport, in Lagos State, he stated.

Marwa also said: “This was the first-ever recorded seizure of the drug in the West and Central African regions.”

He as well noted that 1,994, 400 capsules of Tramadol were seized February 2021 at the Apapa Port, while another 144, 400 bottles of Codeine syrup were confiscated in March and another seizure of 32.9kg of cocaine was recorded in October, 2021.

The agency’s operatives also seized 43.11kg of cocaine February 2021 at the Tin Can Seaport, and another 22, 590kg of Codeine syrup was seized by the NDLEA at the Port September in the past year..

He said that 4, 996, 200 capsules of Tramadol, weighing 2 ,498kg, were impounded in May 2021 at the Onne Port and another 100,000 (100ml) bottles of Codeine cough syrups weighing 15, 325 kg in 500 cartons were intercepted at the port in June 2021.

Marwa stated that 2, 000.6kg of Cannabis Sativa were impounded by the agency in concrete mixer truck loaded in Ogbese, Ondo State.

The consignment, the NDLEA Chairman stated, was intercepted along Girei –Yola Road in Adamawa December 2, 2021.

He further said: “In December 2021 alone, over 34,000kg of cannabis smuggled from Ghana, were intercepted at the Eko Atlantic City Beach, while more than 8.3 million capsules and tablets of Tramadol were seized in Lagos a week before Christmas.

“Just last week, about 1.5 million capsules of same drug, loaded in Onitsha, Anambra, heading to Kebbi and Kano States were also intercepted by our men in Edo.”

Marwa noted that the agency also recorded a series of interceptions and seizures of cocaine and heroin at various airports in the country within the stipulated period.

He as well disclosed that Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, in Lagos, remained the epicentre of the spectacular seizures, including what stands today as the biggest single seizure from an individual in 15 years.

The Chairman said that was the 26.840 kg of cocaine smuggled from Brazil January, 24.05 kg of Heroin in April, 27.95 kg of Cocaine in May, and 26.15kg of Heroin also in May, all in 2021.

Marwa, therefore, assured Nigerian consumers that the regulatory agency is committed to its mandate of ensuring a drug-free country, as the NDLEA would continue to play its role in achieving this objective.

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