In its efforts to reduce the threat of illicit drugs in the country, the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted N6 billion of illicit drugs in the port of Apapa in Lagos.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the NDLEA president, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (retired), said the drugs seized were intended for Boko Haram terrorists.
Marwa said the drug, called Captagon, a brand of amphetamine, was intercepted by agency officers on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.
The NDELA boss revealed that the agency had succeeded in seizing the illicit drugs after receiving information from its international partners about the shipment of drugs through the port of Apapa.
He expressed his concern over the importation of banned drugs, at a time when the country is facing problems of insecurity.
Marwa said the illegal drugs were linked to terrorist groups in the Middle East, adding that the agency would arrest and prosecute anyone linked to shipping the banned narcotics.
He said: âIn March 2021, we received information from our international partners about the shipment of illicit narcotics to Nigeria from the Middle East through the port of Apapa. The container passed through three countries and was transhipped in a North African country, but we followed it with our partners â, the statement, published by Femi Babafemi, lit.
âWe made the first attempt to examine the container on Thursday, August 26, 2021, and what we found inside the container were three (3) pieces of marble polishing machines, otherwise known as sanders.
âA closer examination on Monday August 31 with the NDLEA sniffer dogs revealed a positive indication on the rotor coil of one of the three machines. The next day, Wednesday September 1, 18,560 tablets of drugs suspected of being amphetamine (Captagon) weighing 3.2 kg were found hidden deep in one of the coils.
âThe next day, Thursday September 2, the other two machines were dismantled, and in total, a total of 451,807 tablets, weighing 74.119 kilograms, were discovered hidden inside their rotor coils.
“Based on the market value of around $ 25 per pill, the importer would have raised $ 11.3 million, which equates to N 6 billion.
“Imagine the impact of this drug at the hands of criminal gangs or a fraction of the profits from its sale being used to fuel crime across the country, we can think of our worst case scenarios and they will be even further removed from the repercussions. which could be unleashed on the country.
Marwa said it was the first time the addictive drug had been brought into an African country, adding that the agency would continue to work hard to block the availability of illicit drugs across the country.
âIt may interest you to know that to our knowledge, this is the first time that this drug has been introduced into an African country south of the Sahara. This highly addictive little pill, widely available throughout the Middle East, produces euphoric intensity in users, allowing them to stay awake for days on end, making them fearless, predisposing them to reckless actions that endanger people’s lives. surrounding them.
âWhat should give any Nigerian aware of this drug a nightmare is the fact that its production and sale is controlled by militias and large criminal groups in the Middle East. And without a doubt, Captagon has been linked to the escalation of the Syrian civil war.
âMany seizures have been made since 2017, mainly in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as in Italy and Turkey, and the point of origin, almost all the time, was in Syria and Lebanon. This gave rise to the theory that ISIS is behind the production and sale of Captagon as a means to generate funds for weapons and fighters, and to use it as a stimulus to keep them in combat.
âLet’s not forget that Captagon was the name of the drug found on the phone of the Franco-Tunisian terrorist who killed 84 civilians in France on Bastille Day in 2016. This is the drug we have in our hands now. If these facts aren’t gloomy enough, we should all remember a lesson from history, when during WWII Nazi Germany wreaked havoc across Europe with chemically enhanced soldiers as the Europe’s combined forces were unable to tame.
âThis is the same condition we have now with the insurgents, bandits, cultists, thieves, kidnappers and shepherds rampaging across the country.
“Given Captagon’s dark and dangerous backdrop, it’s not difficult to correctly guess that the destination of the seized drugs is none other than the insurgent and bandit camps across the country.”