A joint Task Force, comprising Interpol, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and other relevant agencies, have impounded 881.100 Kilogrammes of illicit drugs during operation carried out in Sokoto State, as well as the Nigeria-Niger border.
It was learned that the operation also affected the arrest of six suspects, including a 12-year-old boy, who was arrested during the joint operation and seizure of different categories of illicit drugs such as Diazepam 67.10kgs, Tramadol 22.60kgs, cough syrup with codeine 794kgs and 30kgs of cannabis.
NDLEA chairman, Mustapha Abdallah, disclosed drugs impounded in Sokoto on Friday to newsmen during closing ceremony of a five-day -Joint Training and Operations Exercise, between Nigeria and the Niger republic law enforcement personnel.
It was gathered that the programme was organised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in conjunction with Interpol and the NDLEA in Sokoto State, during ongoing war against drug trafficking and abuse.
Abdallah stated that the seizures were made sequel to the joint operation with code-name Operation Ninibo, Nigeria-Niger border, saying, there was a robust existing protocol between Nigeria and the Niger republic, which he said was the background of the efforts to rid the region of illicit drugs.
“It is against this background that the agency is 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 (MoU), that will strengthen cooperation, enhance intelligence sharing and mitigate constraints,” he said.
The Chairman, ECOWAS Commission, Marcel de Souza, who was represented by retired, Diange Abdulrahman, stated that West Africa was a regional hub for the production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs and other related crimes.
“The lack of effective management and control of West Africa land, sea and air borders foster the prevalence of illicit drug trafficking, as well as organised crimes,” Souza said.
The Leader of the team, Niger republic, Police Commissioner, Salifou Assoumane, restated the commitment of his country to rid the Nigerian-Niger borders of illicit drug trafficking, criminal networks and the sale of falsified drugs.
The Interpol Team Leader, Hakidu Illo, added that the training centred on how to detect illicit drugs concealed in vehicles, shoes, containers and other personal effects of the drug traffickers.
According to him, the operation was also aimed at clamping down on illicit drug cartels and to recover stolen vehicles from Europe, alongside other vital documents, such as International Passports.