Authorities of the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Beecroft working through application of the Falcon Eye Maritime Domain Awareness system, have arrested a Motor Cargo Vessel, Chayanee Naree, with a total of 32.9 kilograms of cocaine hidden in 30 slabs inside the vessel and being smuggled into Nigeria.
Commander, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Bashir Mohammed while confirming the arrest of the vessel disclosed that officers of Beecroft worked in synergy with other security agencies including the Nigerian Customs, NDLEA, and Interpol during the sting operation.
He said, “A development within the nation’s maritime environment that concerns a recent sting operation conducted through collaborative efforts between the Nigerian Navy and other Law enforcement agencies including the Interpol, the Nigerian custom services, NPA and the NDLEA was a success.
“Acting on credible intelligence from Interpol, the Nigerian Navy, commenced tracking of a vessel, MV CHAYANEE NAREE, suspected of attempting to smuggle narcotics into Nigeria.
“Using the Nigerian Navy Falcon Eye Maritime Domain Awareness system, the Navy monitored the vessel and discovered that the vessel departed Santos Brazil on 19 Sep 21 and drifted for a week at a position about 250nm (approximately 500 kilometres) off the coast of Benin Republic from 1 to 8 Oct before setting sail and arriving Nigeria on 8 Oct 21.
“Upon entering Nigerian waters, the vessel was intercepted by Nigerian Navy Ship Ekulu and escorted to NPA port where she was directed to berth on 9 Oct 21 and taken custody by the Navy.
“Thereafter, other agencies were invited to conduct an extensive and comprehensive search of the vessel for narcotics and other contraband items.
“The suspected vessel was thoroughly searched by a combined team of Nigerian Navy, InterPol Nigeria, Nigerian Custom Service and Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
“The Search began on 9 Oct 21 and at about 1800 hours (6pm) on 13 Oct 21, efforts of the search team was rewarded when a bag was found in the Vessel’s Cargo Compartment One.
“Tests conducted on the contents of the bag by the NDLEA confirmed the substance to be cocaine wrapped in 30 slabs weighing 32.9 kg.
“Accordingly, the substance was handed over to the NDLEA while further search and investigation have continued on every nook and cranny of the vessel.
“It is gratifying to point out that, the success of this particular operation is as a result of the excellent synergy and collaborative efforts between the NN, Interpol Nigeria, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Nigeria Customs Service.
“Accordingly, as we jointly continue this investigation and search of the Vessel, additional information will be released to the press on the case.
“The desired end state by all parties involved is the prosecution of all those involved in this nefarious act according to the laws of the land.
”Let me at this juncture, assure Nigerians that the Nigerian Navy under the leadership of the Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Adm AZ Gambo will continue to support other government and non-governmental agencies in all collaborative efforts to deny the use of the nation’s sea lanes for all forms of criminality that can negatively affect the wealth, peace and prosperity of our dear nation.
“The Navy will thus continue to work assiduously for a safe and secured Nigerian maritime space.
“On behalf of the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral BJ Gbassa I want to once again thank all our partners standing here with me as well as you the press for being here.”