By John Ikani
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Tuesday, destroyed “1.8 tonnes of cocaine” seized in Lagos State.
The cocaine found in a warehouse on September 18, is the agency’s biggest singular seizure estimated to be worth more than $270m (£240m) and N194 billion in local currency.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Chairman of the agency, Mohammed Buba Marwa, said the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the burning of the seized drugs.
Four Nigerian men aged 69, 65, and two 53-year-olds were arrested in different parts of the commercial city. A foreign nation was also detained.
Mr Marwa said the bust was done in partnership with international partners, especially the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA) and the Nigerian military that provided additional firepower during the operation.
The suspects were brought to the scene to witness and sign the certificate of destruction of the 1,800 blocks of cocaine.
A small batch that was retained will be used in their prosecution.
The NDLEA chairman assured the public that those arrested will be prosecuted according to the law, noting that 2,904 drug offenders are currently serving jail terms.
Mr Marwa said the burning of the drugs was a “message to drug cartels that their investments in the illicit drug trade will go up in smoke as you are about to witness”.
He added that the agency had “in the past 20 months, arrested and jailed drug offenders have forfeited 249 luxury cars and 600 bank accounts blocked.”