Nigeria

Court grants NDLEA’s request to seize cocaine-smuggling vessel

They were arraigned before Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

An order of interim attachment has been granted to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in regard to a vessel that was used to import 32.29 kilograms of cocaine into Nigeria through the Apapa seaport in Lagos.

A Federal High Court in Lagos, which granted the application by the Agency for the interim attachment, also granted the NDLEA’s request to detain Mr Tanahan Krilerk – the Master of the vessel in question, MV Chaynee Naree – 21 foreign crewmembers and seven Nigerians arrested in connection to the case.

According to a statement by the Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, the anti-narcotic agency had on October 13 intercepted the ship at the Apapa seaport following intelligence from international partners and support from other security forces such as the Nigerian Navy, Customs, DSS and the police.

A thorough search of the ship led to the recovery of 30 parcels containing cocaine, which weighed 32.9kg.

Investigations into the seizure have been yielding more arrests of suspected local collaborators, as a result of which the Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Brig-Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) on Tuesday 26th directed that an application to attach the ship and detain the suspects for two weeks pending the conclusion of investigation and filing of criminal charges against suspects be filed in court.

The application which was filed by the agency’s Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, Joseph Nbone Sunday, on Thursday, October 28, was granted the following day Friday, October 29, by Hon Justice AO Awogboro.

According to the court ruling, ‘an order of interim attachment is hereby granted the Federal Government of Nigeria over the Vessel MV Chaynee Naree used as an instrumentality of unlawful transportation and importation of 32.9 kilograms of cocaine seized by the applicant aboard the vessel on 13th October 2021 at Apapa port pending investigation and filing of the charge and prosecution.

‘An order of remand is hereby further granted to the Applicant to remand the Master of the Vessel, Mr Tanahan Krilerk, and 21 other crew members of the said Vessel and 7 other persons arrested in connection with the case for a period of fourteen days pending investigation and or filing of a criminal charge.’

The case was thereafter adjourned until November 25 for a report of investigation.

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