Drug war: Assets confiscation will weaken cartels ― Marwa

The Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) has charged other Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies in Africa to consider targeting the assets of drug cartels as a tool that will weaken criminal narco networks.

He gave the charge, on Tuesday, while delivering Nigeria’s statement at the virtual extraordinary session for Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies to share experiences and best practices in efforts to address and counter the world drug problem.

The NDLEA boss said, “The disruption of the traditional criminal trafficking routes means that law enforcement personnel must be familiar with new technologies, techniques and strategies employed by organised criminal groups and traffickers.

“In order to proactively deal with these new challenges, there is, therefore, an urgent need to strengthen international cooperation in identifying and managing evolving challenges in drug trafficking. We must continue to weaken criminal drug networks through effective asset tracing and confiscation.

“We should, therefore, deepen international cooperation to address the increasing links between transnational organised crime, corruption, illicit financial flows, trafficking in drugs and related crimes.

“Let us not spare any effort in eliminating barriers to effective collaboration as we demonstrate commitment to our shared responsibilities,” Marwa added.

While stating that Nigeria has remained dynamic in her counter-narcotic operations in line with the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic Marwa told the global audience that the country is taking steps to tackle the online distribution of narcotic drugs, which has become prevalent among organised drug trafficking criminal groups.

“In the last eight months, Nigeria has made over 8,634 arrests with 1,630 convictions. Over two million kilograms of drugs seized with over N100 billion in cash and seized drugs,” he said and listed other proactive steps taken by Nigeria to address and counter the various aspects of the drug problem.

“We have developed the 4th edition of our National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) 2021-2025, with four strategic pillars namely: Supply reduction, Demand reduction, Access to Controlled Medicines for medical purposes, Governance and Coordination.

“As part of our control programs, the country recently launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) to further amplify the national drive on both drug supply and drug demand reduction.

“As a result, we are collaborating with all levels of government, civil-society groups, Non-governmental Organizations, schools and relevant institutions,” he added.

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