19th November, 2010
Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, this morning threwÂ more light on the intercepted Iranian ship carrying 130 kilogrammes of concentratedÂ heroin at the Tin Can Island sea port in Lagos, South-West Nigeria.
The seizure came about three weeks after operatives of the State Security Service,Â SSS, intercepted at the same port 13 other containers that originated from Iran,Â filled with dangerous weapons.
The ship carrying the arms,Â MV CMA-CGM Everest was seized on 26 October 2010.
NDLEAâ€™s Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said that the street value ofÂ the drug seized in Lagos is about N650 million.
The agency said in a statement that the drug was industrially concealed insideÂ auto-parts. Ofoyeju disclosed that the intelligence report that led to the seizureÂ of the ship was received four months ago from foreign informants.
He said: â€œIt was however jointly examined by all security agencies at the Port inÂ expectation that the container was carrying explosives.
â€œAfter the initial inspection and when no explosives were found all agencies leftÂ for their various offices but the NDLEA remained and insisted on carrying out moreÂ comprehensive examination of the container based on the intelligence available toÂ it.
â€œIndustrial welders invited by the agency had to cut the equipment open to revealÂ the drugs. This action finally paid off as the drugs were finally traced to someÂ cylindrical equipment in which the substances were found. Already, some arrests haveÂ been made in connection with the unlawful cargo.â€
Chairman of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, said that the discovery of the heroin marks theÂ success of the first phase of the covert operations.
â€œThe discovery of the 130kg of heroin uncovered by the NDLEA at the port last nightÂ marks the beginning of intense investigation. We are still monitoring events toÂ perfect investigation activitiesâ€ Giade stated. The anti-narcotic boss also stressedÂ that the Agency was working on other cases and at the appropriate time, seizures andÂ arrests will be made.
â€œDrug barons will be frustrated out of the illicit drug business through similarÂ undercover operation. We have successfully established links with our foreignÂ collaborators and will maximise every opportunity to dismantle drug traffickingÂ cartels in the country and West Africaâ€ Giade promised. He also stated that theÂ agency will collaborate with other agencies in its operations. â€œThe Agency willÂ partner with relevant agencies in line with internationally accepted rules ofÂ intelligence gathering,â€ Giade said.
NDLEA said that investigations are ongoing.
On 22 July 2010, 450.400 kilogrammes of cocaine was intercepted after it arrived theÂ country from Chile. A Taiwanese, a Chinese and three Nigerians are currently facingÂ trial over that seizure.