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How Customs intercepted N2 billion cocaine shipment

More facts have emerged over how the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Tin-Can Island Command intercepted N2 billion worth of cocaine concealed in a container with number CMAU045195/022G1 at the Tin-Can Island port in Lagos, recently.

Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune exclusively, a management staff of the Tin-Can Island Customs Command who declined to have his name in print as he is not authorised to speak, explained that intelligence revealed the vessel did not have the eight black bags of cocaine onboard when it departed New Zealand for Nigeria.

According to him, “the seizure of the bags containing cocaine at the Tin-Can Island Port was as a result of 42 days of strategic and intelligence profiling. It took Comptroller Yusuf Bashar 42 days of sleepless intelligence work to achieve.

“According to the information we had, the vessel left New Zealand without the eight black bags onboard. However, on its way to Nigeria, the vessel stopped at a port in Spain where the eight black bags were loaded onboard her.

“When the vessel called at the Tin-Can port here, Comptroller Bashar kept the information to himself, although he confided in few of us who were on his team. This was to avoid the information leaking out to the general public.

“Even when the vessel arrived at Tin-Can port, we did not raise any alarm because we needed the owners to come forward and take delivery. We needed to tie it down to somebody which was why we kept mum even when we knew the vessel was already berthed at the port.

“So when the owners came to take delivery, we rounded them up because we knew those eight bags were not manifested.

“It is against the law of international trade not to manifest whatever is leaving one country for another country. The clearing agent that came to take delivery, Elevation Transaction Limited was rounded up.

“On close examination, we could not decode the substance; that was why we invited the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the spirit of inter-agency collaboration. The NDLEA did preliminary test which took three minutes, and the substance was confirmed as cocaine.

“Further tests by the NDLEA revealed that the cocaine is worth N2billion and its volume is 214.736Kg, meaning it’s the highest in the past 10 years.”