NDLEA seizes cocaine worth over N32bn at Lagos port

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized 40 parcels of cocaine weighing 43.11kg, with an estimated street value of over N32 billion at the Tincan Port in Lagos.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized 40 parcels of cocaine weighing 43.11kg, with an estimated street value of over N32 billion at the Tincan Port in Lagos.

The consignment containing the illicit drug was put under surveillance by operatives of the Tincan Command of the NDLEA for some days until two clearing agents showed up on Monday, February 8, 2021, to clear it.

According to the Commander, Tincan Port Command, Sumaila Ethan, the two clearing agents were promptly arrested and the consignment, which was brought into Nigeria from Brazil on board a vessel marked MV SPAR SCORPIO, properly searched.

“After a thorough search, we discovered 40 compressed parcels, which after laboratory investigations tested positive to cocaine. The two clearing agents have been taken into custody while we continue with the investigation. The seizure is no doubt an attestation to the renewed vigour in the operations of the agency. We appreciate our Chairman/Chief Executive, Gen. Buba Marwa who provided guidance all through the operations,” he said.

While commending the Commander, officers and men of the Tincan Port Command for the operation, Gen. Marwa charged them and other Commands across the country to remain vigilant and on red alert.

“The successes we’re recording in the last three weeks can only serve as a challenge to raise the bar and do more. We’ll continue to do our best to motivate the officers and men of the agency, and we expect full commitment, dedication to work and discipline in return so that we can collectively achieve the goal of ridding our nation of illicit drugs,” he said.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.