A vessel, MV Spar Scorpio, laden with 42,000 metric tonnes of sugar but arrested by the Nigeria Customs Service at Josepdam Terminal, Tincan Island Port, Lagos, following the discovery of 100.05kg of cocaine on board, was today handed over by the Legal Adviser of Nigeria Customs to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Handing over the case file of the vessel to the Customs Legal Adviser who in turn gave it to NDLEA at Josepdam Terminal, the Customs Area Controller of Tin Can Island Command, Comptroller Mba Musa recalled that the Boarding Officer of the Enforcement Unit reported on the 8th of February 2021 at about 1103 hour at Josepdam Terminal that the vessel – Spar Scorpio with rotation No 78/21 of 18/01/2021 laden with 42,000 metric tonnes of raw sugar imported from Santo, Brazil to Tincan Island Port Lagos, discharged two (2) bags of forty (40) packages earlier suspected to be hard drugs.
The Customs Controller noted that the vessel came with a crew list of 20, visited eleven ports of call including Brazil, USA, Panama, Korea, and Nil drugs were reported on arrival.
Comptroller Musa said this development prompted Josepdam Terminal officials to draw the attention of the Port Safety Officer of Nigerian Ports Authority who in turn notified the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The customs boss said the NDLEA officials arrived at the terminal and took over the substances from Josepdam officials, following which the substance was examined in the presence of regulated agencies and declared weight as 100.05 as stated in the Josepdam incident reports of 9th February 2021.
According to Comptroller Musa who said the case is in court, a sequel to this, the command issued a detention notice on the vessel and subsequently commenced investigation on the circumstances surrounding the importation and eventual interception of the drugs.
Musa noted that 20 suspects including the captain of the vessel connected with the drug were confined to the vessel and the vessel guarded by the Enforcement officers of the command in line with a court order.