The Director-General of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mrs. Roli Bode-George, has said many drug barons have fled Nigeria to neighbouring countries as a result of the agency’s intensified crackdown on illicit drug business.
Mrs. Bode George, who is also the NDLEA secretary, in a statement yesterday, listed some achievements of the agency to include the discovery of six clandestine laboratories in Lagos and Anambra states, destruction of 4,529.15 hectares of Cannabis farms in Osun, Ondo and Edo states.
She said an operation, code named “Weed Eaters”, led to the removal of Nigeria by the United States from the drug majors’ list, thereby easing security checks and screening on Nigerians travelling outside the country, among others.
The statement reads in part: “NDLEA can boast of a well-trained and knowledgeable workforce capable of meeting the mandate of the agency. This accounts for the impressive records of arrest, seizures and convictions in the last 10 years to justify its effectiveness as a drug law enforcement agency. As a result of these improved agency’s counter-narcotic measures, most drug barons have relocated to neighbouring countries.
“The growing confidence of the international community on the integrity of the agency has resulted in increased international collaboration with enforcement organisations around the world. The agency is presently collaborating with enforcement organisations. These include American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom; Federal Police (Fedpol) of Switzerland; BKA of Germany.
“Other countries with interest in collaborating with the NDLEA are France, Colombia, Brazil, Italy and South Africa among others.
“These collaborations and cooperation have brought much benefit to the agency, including the establishment of the Special Enforcement Team (SET) involving the NDLEA and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States of America; and the Combined Inter- Agency Task Force (CIATF), which involves the NDLEA, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom.
“The focus of these engagements is on intelligence-sharing, capacity-building and logistic support.
“The European Union is presently funding a five-year intervention project for organisations involved in the enforcement of organised crimes in Nigeria, of which NDLEA is a major player.
“The fact that the agency enjoys this international goodwill and continues to record success in its operations as can be seen in the statistics of arrest seizures and asset forfeiture belies the propaganda by traducers”.