By OKOSUN DENNIS
Disturbed by the activities of illegal fishing trawlers engaging in fishing expedition in the Nigeria Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), the Nigerian Navy, has arrested eight suspects for illegal fishing and trafficking of Indian Hemp popularly known as Marijuana.
The drug suspects were arrested about 1am last Saturday in a fibre boat named: “My Destiny” with 11 packages suspected to be marijuana.
The 559.6kg of Cannabis Sativa was handed over to Mr Isiaka Lawal, the Principal Staff Officer (PSO) and Intelligence of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the NNS Beecroft parade ground, Apapa.
The Commander, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Maurice Eno, who handed over the suspects with the exhibits warned criminals to stay clear of the EEZ or face the wrath of the force.
The drug suspects include Akiti Naitey, 33, from Republic of Benin; Jelili Anu, 25; Kunnuyi Damilola, 24. While Theophilus Ibikunle, was the Captain of the fish trawler. Others include: Oshaegbu Claudius Shedrack, Chief Engineer; Felix Ajibo, Wasiu Lawal and Omotuole Orisameolowa, are goodall crew members.
Cdre Eno explained that the criminals and the drugs were intercepted during a routine patrol. He added that the moment they sighted his men, they sped off but chased and apprehended.
He told National Daily that “The boat was conveying three men and 11 packages of substance suspected to be cannabis. The three suspects, along with the exhibits, are now being handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation and possible persecution.”
Eno reiterated the commitment of the navy, stressing that they would continue to patrol the waters to ensure a secured environment for law abiding citizens.
Mr Isiaka Lawal, who received the suspects and exhibits including the boat used in conveying the drugs, on behalf of the NDLEA, commended the navy at reducing criminality to the barest minimum in the nation’s waters.
Lawal, who confirmed the exhibit as cannabis sativa weighing 559.6kg, said the suspects would be charged to court after investigation.
In another development, the navy also paraded five suspects and a fishing trawler, FT Stephanie, LA 299, they apprehended around Ikare waterways in Lagos for engaging in illegal fishing.
National Daily gathered that the fishing permit of the vessel has expired and therefore, had no permit to fish in the Nigerian waters.
“In line with the standard practice, the suspects are now being handed over to the Federal Department of Fishery for investigation,’’ Eno said.
Eno warned perpetrators of oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other criminal activities to desist, saying that there was no hiding place for them in his area of operation.
He advised the public to be vigilant and report anyone involved in criminal activities to appropriate security agencies for necessary action.
Akiti Naitey explained that he was only contacted by his friend to help ferry the goods claiming he didn’t know that the content of the package was Indian hemp. “We charged the agent to the owner N20,000 to convey it to Ojo in Lagos.
” I have never been involved in conveying any drug for anybody, he added.