Defence/Security

Nigeria to seize drug cartels’ assets, Marwa assures UN

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Nigeria to seize drug cartels’ assets, Marwa assures UN

By Ibironke Ariyo The President of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, the retired Brigadier General. Buba Marwa assured the international community of Nigeria‘s readiness and determination to tackle the assets of the drug lords.

This, he said, also included traffickers of drugs and illegal substances in any part of the country.

Marwa gave the assurance in her presentation to the ongoing third committee session of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States

The NDLEA boss, in a statement by agency spokesman Femi Babafemi, said Nigeria has not shied away from adopting aggressive strategies to counter new approaches taken by organized criminals to make drug trafficking unattractive.

This, he said, would ensure the confiscation of assets derived from crime, which is a proven and powerful deterrent against the proliferation of drug-related crimes and offenses.

Marwa said Nigeria has shown political will in demonstrating a high commitment to protecting public health and safety with the launch of the War on Drug Abuse (AMA) campaign.

He added that it was, however, a call for civil action for all Nigerians to fully embrace and own the fight against the threat of illicit drugs.

Marwa said Nigeria’s drug control efforts have received tremendous momentum with unprecedented stakeholder involvement; “We engaged civil society groups, non-governmental organizations, academia and governments at all levels.

“Public education is also enhanced by remarkable media visibility, even as young people are regularly sensitized on social media platforms to the harmful consequences of illicit drugs and related offenses.

“Our constant targeting of drug trafficking organizations has resulted in the arrest of 8,634 suspected drug traffickers and the seizure of over 100 billion Naira in cash and drugs in the first eight months of this year.

“The perpetrators will go through the criminal justice system, their fundamental human rights being strictly respected,” he said.

The boss of the NDLEA expressed his gratitude to all the international partners who, in a spirit of shared responsibility, deserved to be appreciated.

He commended them for their great support through technical assistance, information and intelligence sharing, capacity building and training.

This, he said, was specifically about combating the use of information and communication technologies for criminal purposes, which had given great impetus to anti-narcotics strategies.

“Nigeria is pleased to announce the European Union (EU) Funded and United Nations Sponsored United Nations Against Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Cannabis Cultivation Survey.

“This should highlight the full extent of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria and make it easier to target measures to contain this perennial threat,” he said.

Marwa told the global gathering that appropriate strategies have also been adopted to address the stigma against people who use drugs.

This, he said, including responding to the needs of communities and vulnerable groups such as women, girls, children (out of school and homeless), internally displaced persons (IDPs) , etc.

“It should be mentioned here that one of the challenges of the pandemic is the proliferation of online drug cookie sales and the use of courier services to move illicit drugs.

“However, we were able to intercept, trace and dismantle most of the drug cells involved. Part of the success of Nigeria’s drug war efforts has been the recent “first seizure of 74.119 kg of Captagon brand amphetamine, presumably intended for use.”

“Also, to fuel the insurgency and other crimes and violent crimes that Nigeria is currently grappling with,” he said.

Source: NAN

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