NDLEA Boss, Marwa advocates assets confiscation to dissuade drug barons in Africa
The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd) has asked other Heads of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies in Africa to consider confiscating the assets of drug barons as a weakening factor against criminals in narcotic networks.
The Ex-Military Administrator of Lagos gave the charge on Tuesday in Abuja while delivering Nigeria's statement at the virtual extraordinary session for Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies to share experiences and best practices in efforts to address and counter the world drug problem.
He said "the disruption of the traditional criminal trafficking routes means that law enforcement personnel must be familiar with new technologies, techniques and strategies employed by organized criminal groups and traffickers.
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‘In order to proactively deal with these new challenges, there is, therefore, an urgent need to strengthen international cooperation in identifying and managing evolving challenges in drug trafficking. We must continue to weaken criminal drug networks through effective asset tracing and confiscation.
"We should, therefore, deepen international cooperation to address the increasing links between transnational organized crime, corruption, illicit financial flows, trafficking in drugs and related crimes.
‘Let us not spare any effort in eliminating barriers to effective collaboration as we demonstrate commitment to our shared responsibilities."
He said that Nigeria has remained dynamic in its counter-narcotics operations in line with the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire by drug trafficking cartels to explore new markets and routes in furtherance of their criminal activities.
"We are taking steps to tackle the online distribution of narcotic drugs, which has become prevalent among organised drug trafficking criminal groups, particularly since the global shut down last year.
‘In the last eight months, Nigeria has made over 8,634 arrests with 1,630 convictions. Over two million kilograms of drugs seized with over N100billion in cash and seized drugs."
He listed other proactive steps taken by Nigeria to address and counter the various aspects of the drug problem.
"We have developed the 4th edition of our National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) 2021-2025, with four strategic pillars namely: Supply reduction, Demand reduction, Access to Controlled Medicines for medical purposes, Governance and Coordination.
"As part of our control programs, the country recently launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) to further amplify the national drive on both drug supply and drug demand reduction.
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“As a result, we are collaborating with all levels of government, civil-society groups, Non-governmental Organizations, schools and relevant institutions", he added.
He emphasised the importance of strengthening international cooperation in addressing drug trafficking and other forms of transnational organized crimes, especially on the African continent.
"Nigeria is committed to strengthening regional alliances which in the short term could be fostered through Memoranda of Understanding between our different agencies in the African Continent and beyond.
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