Navy arrests 22 Thai sailors for smuggling 32.9kg of cocaine into Nigeria

Navy arrests 22 Thai sailors for smuggling 32.9kg of cocaine into Nigeria
Some of the Thai sailors arrested by the Nigerian Navy for attempted smuggling of 32.9kg of cocaine into Nigeria.

 

Twenty-two sailors of Thai origin have been arrested by officials of the Nigerian Navy, and are currently being detained at the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa over an alleged attempt to smuggle 32.9kg of cocaine from Brazil to Nigeria.

The suspects were arrested on-board a ship named MV CHAYANEE NAREE by the joint team following an intelligence report it got from the UK Border Force.

It was learnt that the cargo ship left Santos in Brazil on September 19, 2021 and the UK Border Force discovered that the vessel was heading to Nigeria.

All 22 crew man are being detained onboard the ship at the Lagos Port Complex Apapa pending further investigation. 

Addressing media men on the arrest, the Commander of NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Bashir Mohammed, said the operation that led to the arrest of the suspects was carried out through collaborative efforts between the Nigerian Navy, Interpol, Nigeria Custom Service, Nigerian Ports Authority and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency. 

Navy arrests 22 Thai sailors for smuggling 32.9kg of cocaine into Nigeria
The ship MV CHAYANEE NAREE interdicted by the Nigerian Navy for attempted smuggling of 32.9kg of cocaine into Nigeria.

 

He said during investigation, it was discovered that the vessel departed Santos Brazil on September 19, 2021 and drifted for a week at a position about 250nm (approximately 500 kilometres) off the coast of Benin Republic from October 1 to October 8 before setting sail and arriving Nigeria on October 8, 2021. 

“Upon entering Nigerian waters, the vessel was intercepted by Nigerian Navy Ship EKULU and escorted to NPA port where she was directed to berth on October 9, 2021 and taken into custody by the Navy. Thereafter, other agencies were invited to conduct an extensive and comprehensive search of the vessel for narcotics and other contraband items.

“The suspected vessel was thoroughly searched by a combined team of Nigerian Navy, Interpol Nigeria, Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency. The Search began on October 9,2021 and at about 6pm on October 13, 2021, efforts of the search team was rewarded when a bag was found in the vessel’s cargo compartment one. Tests conducted on the contents of the bag by the NDLEA confirmed the substance to be cocaine wrapped in 30 slabs weighing 32.9kg. Accordingly, the substance was handed over to the NDLEA while further search and investigation continued on every nook and cranny of the vessel,” Mohammed said. 

Also speaking on the arrest and seizure, the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command, Ibrahim Malanta Yusuf, said it was gratifying to that the success of the operation was as a result of the synergy between relevant agencies of government.



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