Maritime

Tincan NDLEA fumes at extortion allegation levelled against it; says accusation tarnishes reputation of agency

Tincan NDLEA fumes at extortion allegation levelled against it; says accusation tarnishes reputation of agency

 

Segun Oladipupo

 

Happy Diamond Age

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Tincan Special Area Command has frowned at the allegation of extortion levelled against it in the media.

The Tincan Area Commander, Commander of Narcotics (CN), Mohammed Aminu Abubakar said the information made available to the media organisation by Mr. Odion Solomon, a clearing agent, is completely baseless and without merit.

The source of the news had told the online medium that NDLEA officials at the command extort money from the agents and their principals under the guise of keeping their consignment under watch list for possible drug import.

The Special Command boss urged anyone with credible evidence to forward such to the appropriate quarters for improvement of services.

Explaining, the anti-drug agency maintained that watch listing process is a standard procedure implemented to ensure international trade compliance and security. It seeks to prevent illegal activities such as smuggling, money laundering, or trafficking, among others.

CN Abubakar added that watch list is a globally recognized practice that aims to protect the interests of countries and their citizens.

Continuing, the Tincan NDLEA command boss fumed that to insinuate that the organisation engage in extortion under the guise of watch listing containers is not only unfounded but also malicious.

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“We pride ourselves on maintaining the highest ethical standards and strictly adhere to all legal and regulatory requirements.

“Our focus is solely on promoting transparency, facilitating legitimate trade, and maintaining the integrity of the supply chain.

“The real impediments to the Federal Government Ease of Doing Business at the port are the non-compliance alongside with false declaration of cargo and concealments by the importers and traders aided by agents.

“Importers and agents are expected to be honest and transparent in their activities which will make our jobs easier and straightforward.

“Unfortunately, the tendency of the importers and abetting by agents to effect false declaration and concealment have led to too numerous seizures of illicit drugs shipped into the country. Arrests and prosecution of many importers and their collaborators (agents) by NDLEA Tincan command is a testament that we operate in highly non-compliant environment.

Taking stick of achievements of the organisation in the last eight months I at the command, Abubakar stated that the command nabbed 799.95Kg of Cannabis indica imported into the country.

He stated further that the seizure has the street value of close to three billion naira even as it also intercepted 24Kg of Cocaine from a bulk cargo vessel, Cooper Island.

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“NDLEA Tincan command has between January to August this year alone, recorded 799.95kg of cannabis indica imported from mainly Canada and USA with street value put at 2,664,230,000 naira, and seizure of 24kg of cocaine from a bulk cargo vessel, Cooper Island.

“Furthermore, the watch listing process is not undertaken independently by our organization. It involves collaboration with government authorities, Customs agencies, and relevant stakeholders who are responsible for overseeing and implementing these measures.

“These checks and balances ensure that decisions made regarding container watch listing are based on actionable intelligence and objective risk assessments rather than personal interests.

“We strongly refute any claims of improper conduct or ulterior motives in the watch listing process. Such baseless accusations not only tarnishes our reputation but also undermine the credibility of the entire international trade ecosystem.

“We remain committed to upholding the highest standards of professional integrity and will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action against those spreading false allegations.

“We urge anyone with legitimate concerns or suggestions for improvement to come forward with credible evidence through the appropriate channels. Constructive dialogue and cooperation are key to enhancing the integrity and effectiveness of our operations, and we welcome any opportunity to address concerns genuinely and transparently.

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“It is essential to emphasize that we take these false allegations seriously and will spare no effort in defending our organization’s integrity and reputation. We trust that truth and fairness will prevail in the face of these baseless accusations, and our commitment to serving the Nigerian and global trade community will remain unshakeable, while maintaining the security integrity of our nation.”

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