Chairman/chief executive officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) said loads of Captagon, a brand of Amphetamine meant for insurgents’ camps in Nigeria were intercepted by operatives of the agency at the Apapa port in Lagos.
Speaking at a media briefing to update the public on the recent seizure, Marwa condemned the evil intent of those behind the importation of the illicit substance into the country at a very critical time when the nation is facing some security challenges.
He vowed that the agency would not rest untill everyone connected to the consignment is arrested and prosecuted.
According to him, “Sometime in March 2021, we received intel from our international partners on the shipment of illicit narcotics to Nigeria from the Middle East through the Apapa port. The container passed through three countries and was transloaded in a North African country, but we kept track of it along with our partners.
“We made the first attempt to examine the container on Thursday, August 26, 2021, and what we found inside the container were three pieces of marble polishing machines, otherwise called sanders.”
The NDLEA boss said further scrutiny on Monday, August 31, with the NDLEA sniffer dogs turned up a positive indication on the rotor coil of one of the three machines. The next day, Wednesday, September 1, 18,560 tablets of drug suspected to be Amphetamine (Captagon) weighing 3.2kg was found deeply concealed in one of the coils.
“The following day, Thursday, September 2, the other two machines were dismantled, and in all, a total of 451, 807 tablets, weighing 74.119 kilograms, were discovered hidden inside their rotor coils. Going by the street value of about $25 per tablet, the importer would have raised $11.3million, which is equivalent to N6 billion.
“Imagine the impact of this drug in the hands of criminal gangs or a fraction of the profit from its sale being used to fuel criminalities across the country, we can think of our worst-case scenarios and they will still be farther from the repercussions that could be unleashed on the country.
“Lest we forget, Captagon was the name of the drug found on the phone of the French-Tunisian terrorist who killed 84 civilians in France on Bastille Day in 2016. That is the drug we have on our hands now. If these facts are not grim enough, we should all remember a lesson from history, when in World War Two, Nazi Germany wreaked havoc across Europe with chemically-enhanced soldiers that the combined forces of Europe could not tame.
“This is the same condition we have presently with insurgents, bandits, cultists, robbers, kidnappers and herders spilling rampaging across the country.
“Given the dark and dangerous background of Captagon, it’s not difficult to guess correctly that the destination for the seized drug is none other than the camps of insurgents and bandits all over the country,” Marwa stated.