Plans by a trans-border gang to export cannabis worth over N40 million through the nation’s waterways to other West African countries was, weekend, foiled by the Nigerian Navy, following the recovery of two fibre boats loaded with 100 bags of the substance.
It was gathered that the suspects were heading towards Benin Republic, when they were accosted by Naval personnel at Igbooja village, close to Badagry area of Lagos State. On sighting the personnel, the suspects jumped into the river and swam for safety, abandoning their boats.
The recovered bags of cannabis, which had different inscriptions, such as TMT, AI, PMAN, Gad and WK, on them to indicate the different owners, were handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, by the Commander of NNS Beecroft, Commodore Mauris Eno.
Eno told newsmen that the arrest followed activities of some suspected criminals, who transport cannabis and other illicit substances through the waterways.
He said: “The suspects absconded before the navy patrol team got to the scene; as such no person was arrested.
“The substance was packaged in 77 big bags and 23 medium bags, weighing about 4226.6kg with an estimated street value of over N40 million.
“The Navy, under the leadership of Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas, is determined to rid our waterways of all forms illegalities.
“NNS Beecroft is, therefore, committed to assisting NDLEA deal with the issue of trafficking of illicit substance.”
Receiving the recovered substance, NDLEA’s Principal Staff Officer, Operations and Intelligence, Lagos State Command, Mr. Lawal Isiaka, said the agency would continue from where the Navy stopped.
He added that NDLEA will also do all within its abilities to curb the use and distribution of illicit drugs across Lagos State in particular and the country in general.