Nigeria to strengthen fight against illicit drugs

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National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA)
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA)

Nigerian government on Wednesday approved strengthening the fight against dangerous and illicit drugs by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), a senior official said.

Abubakar Malami, the minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, told reporters in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, that the decision to procure armored vehicles was taken to encourage and safeguard the lives of NDLEA personnel.

“It is common knowledge that, of recent, the NDLEA has been repositioned and arising from the support both in terms of our capacity building, hardware, and associated things, they have been recording an extraordinary or unprecedented success,” Malami said.

The official said the recent successes recorded by the anti-narcotics agency had brought more risks to their job, as it became logical that the criminals and their syndicates are now devising means inclusive of attacks on the NDLEA personnel.

According to Malami, between January and July alone, the NDLEA arrested 18,940 suspects with 2,904 convictions.

Barely two weeks ago, the anti-drug agency arrested four drug barons in Lagos, the country’s economic hub, and made a record seizure of 1,855 kg of cocaine with a street value put at more than 278 million U.S. dollars. That seizure has been described as “the biggest singular cocaine seizure” in the history of the NDLEA, and the seized Class A drugs, stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums, were allegedly meant for buyers of the world.

Four drug barons and the warehouse manager were arrested in the coordinated and intelligence-led operation in Lagos, all noted to be members of an international drug syndicate that the agency has been trailing since 2018. Enditem

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