NIGERIA and the United Kingdom (UK) are strategising to tighten the noose on drug trafficking cartels through assets and financial investigation.
This was disclosed at the weekend during a visit by the Director International of Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) of Britain, Mr. David Armond and other senior security experts to the National Headquarters of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ikoyi, Lagos.
The Director General of the NDLEA, Mr. Femi Ajayi who received the SOCA delegation expressed optimism that the visit will further deepen the working relationship between both countries.
“Nigeria is committed to the fight against organised criminal syndicates. We are prepared to partner with the United Kingdom. It is imperative for us to collaborate in the war against illicit drugs and prevent international drug syndicates from having advantage. This meeting will help in advancing our strategies in drug control.” Ajayi stated.
In his response, SOCA Director International said that Britain is interested in partnering with Nigeria in tracing the illicit proceeds of drug traffickers particularly assets of Nigerians convicted in the United Kingdom for drug trafficking.
“We are interested in working with our partners who recognise and are willing to deal with the threat of drug trafficking and organised crime. Drug trafficking is a threat to all of us. It encourages corruption because of the huge profit involved.
“We have expertise in a number of areas and we think we can explore this in tracing the assets and drug proceeds of syndicates. We need to be strict in identification of illicit drug proceeds and take them away,” Armond stressed.
He added that collaboration was crucial because no country could win the drug war alone.
He disclosed that no country can arrest all drug traffickers and lock them up, just as he advised nations to have a broad strategy which involves drug demand reduction, alternative intervention, capacity building, intelligence gathering and more sophisticated approach.
The meeting was attended by NDLEA directors and other senior officials. The SOCA team is expected to conclude working modalities before leaving the country.