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Court Detains Vessel, 29 Suspects For Importing Cocaine Into Nigeria

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an application by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA) for the interim attachment of a vessel, MV Cha Yanee Naree, used to import 32.9kg of cocaine into the country through the Apapa Port in Lagos.

Besides the attachment order, the court also granted NDLEA’s request to detain the Master of the ship, Tanahan Krilerk.

Also to be detained alongside Krilerk are 21 foreign crew members as well as seven Nigerians arrested in connection to the case.

The anti-narcotic agency had on October 13 intercepted the ship at the Apapa Port following intelligence from international partners and support from other security forces such as the Nigerian Navy (NN), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Department of State Services (DSS), and Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

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

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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, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), directed that an application be sought to attach the ship and detain the suspects for two weeks pending the conclusion of investigation and filing of criminal charges against suspects in court.

The application, in suit no: FHC/L/CS/1518/2021, which was filed by the agency’s Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, Joseph Nbone Sunday, on October 28, was granted on October 29 by Justice A.O. Awogboro.

According to the ruling: “An order of interim attachment is hereby granted the Federal Government of Nigeria over the Vessel MV ChaYanee Naree used as an instrumentality of unlawful transportation and importation of 32.9 kilogrammes of cocaine seized by the applicant aboard the vessel on October 13 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 seven other persons arrested in connection with the case for a period of 14 days pending investigation and or filing of a criminal charge.”

The case was thereafter adjourned till November 25, 2021, for the report of investigation.

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