The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in conjunction with other sister security agencies have arrested 6 suspects in connection with a seizure of about 881 kilogrammes of illicit drugs, Col. Mohammed Mustapha Abdullah (rtd) disclosed in Sokoto.
Col. Mustapha, who is the Chairman of NDLEA spoke during a five-day Joint Training and Operations Exercise organised by the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), in conjunction with Interpol.
According to him, the illicit drugs seized include 67.1kgs of Diazepam, 22.60 kgs of Tramadol, 794 kgs of cough syrup with codeine and 30kgs of cannabis.
He added that, the joint operation between Nigeria-Niger Republic borders that led to the arrest was was tagged, “Operation Ninibo, Nigeria-Niger border”
While affirming that, they have resolved to ensure that there is no weak or safe Haven for the various organized criminalities in the sub-region, he noted that they resolute in ensuring a permanent halt of illicit drugs from the region.
Col. Mustapha added that, they are currently working out modalities to engage member states of the sub-region on bilateral agreements.
”This will lead to the signing of Memoranda of Understanding that will strengthen cooperation, enhance intelligence sharing and mitigate constraints,”
On his part, ECOWAS Commission chairman, Marcel de Souza, represented by the Head of Regional Security Division and West African Police Chief’s Committee (WAPCCO) Permanent Secretary, Col. Diange Abduolrahmane decried that they needed to double their effort to forestall the possibility of turning West African region into hub for the production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs and other related crimes.
He added that, amongst the most viable ways of ensuring the sanity of the West African sub-region is to stimulate effective management and control of land, sea and air borders.
On his part Niger Republic and Commissioner of Police and Leader of the group, Salifou Assoumane, warned that they are ever ready to rid Nigerian-Niger borders of all criminal networks including illicit drug consumption and sales.
Earlier, the Interpol Team Leader, Halidu Illo, divulged that the training was aimed at how best to detect illicit drugs concealed in vehicles, shoes, containers and other personal effects of criminally minded drug traffickers.
“This Joint Operation is organized to bring about the required synergy and coordination in the framework of the fight against illicit drug trafficking and other trans-border organized crimes.
“ECOWAS remains committed to building on what we have achieved so far in Regional Security.” Illo noted.