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Court Grants NDLEA’s Request To Seize Ship Used To Import Cocaine, Detain 29 Suspects

A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted the application by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, for the interim attachment of a vessel MV Chayaneenaree used to import 32.9 kilograms of cocaine into Nigeria through the Apapa Seaport in Lagos.

NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemin noted in a statement on Sunday that besides the attachment order, the court also granted NDLEAs request to detain the master of the ship, Mr. Tanahan Krilerk, and 21 foreign crewmembers 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 Seaport following intelligence from international partners and support from other security forces such as the Nigerian Navy, Customs, DSS, and the police.

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

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, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) on Tuesday 26th directed that an application to attach the ship and detain the suspects for two weeks pending the conclusion of investigation and filing of criminal charges against suspects be filed 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 Thursday 28th October was granted the following day Friday 29th October by Hon. Justice A.O. Awogboro.

According to the court ruling, an order of interim attachment was granted to the Federal Government of Nigeria over the Vessel MV Chayaneenaree used as an instrumentality of unlawful transportation and importation of 32.9 kilograms of cocaine seized by the applicant aboard the vessel on 13th October 2021 at Apapa Port pending investigation and filing of the charge and prosecution.

An order of remand was 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 7 other persons arrested in connection with the case for a period of fourteen days pending investigation and or filing of a criminal charge.

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

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