22 Thai Nationals Arrested For Allegedly Smuggling Cocaine From Brazil Into Nigeria
22 Thai Nationals has been arrested for allegedly smuggling 32.9kg cocaine from Brazil into Nigeria.
The Nigerian Navy arrested the 22 Thai nationals who were on-board MV CHAYANEE NAREE, following an intelligence report it got from the UK Border Force.
It was gathered that the cargo ship left Santos in Brazil on September 19, 2021, and the UK Border Force discovered that the vessel was heading to Nigeria.
All 22 crewmen are being detained on board the ship at the Lagos Port Complex while the investigation continued.
The Commander of NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Bashir Mohammed disclosed this while speaking with newsmen on Thursday, October 14.
According to him, the joint security team, acting on credible intelligence from Interpol, naval officers, commenced tracking of a vessel, MV CHAYANEE NAREE, which was suspected of attempting to smuggle narcotics into Nigeria.
He said with the aid of the Nigerian Navy Falcon Eye Maritime Domain Awareness system, the security team started monitoring the movement of the vessel.
Mohammed said during the investigation it was discovered that the vessel departed Santos Brazil on September 19, 2021, and drifted for a week at a position about 250nm (approximately 500 kilometres) off the coast of Benin Republic from October 1 to October 8 before setting sail and arriving Nigeria on October 8, 2021.
He said, “Upon entering Nigerian waters, the vessel was intercepted by Nigerian Navy Ship EKULU and escorted to NPA port where she was directed to berth on October 9, 2021, and taken custody by the Navy.
“Thereafter, other agencies were invited to conduct an extensive and comprehensive search of the vessel for narcotics and other contraband items.
“The suspected vessel was thoroughly searched by a combined team of Nigerian Navy, Interpol Nigeria, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
“The Search began on October 9, 2021, and at about 6 pm on October 13, 2021, the efforts of the search team were rewarded when a bag was found in the Vessel’s Cargo Compartment One
“Tests conducted on the contents of the bag by the NDLEA confirmed the substance to be cocaine wrapped in 30 slabs weighing 32.9 kg. Accordingly, the substance was handed over to the NDLEA while further search and investigation continued on every nook and cranny of the vessel.”
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