Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted over 64,863.5 kilograms of consignments of Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) at the Apapa seaport in Lagos and in Imo State.
This was disclosed in a statement by NDLEA Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Friday, July 14, 2023.
This is coming less than a week after the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), directed all commands and formations of the agency to begin an immediate clampdown on the illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide.
According to Babafemi, following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives at the Apapa seaport on Wednesday intercepted two containers marked MSKU 7626856 and MSKU 7689448 suspected to contain cartons of Nitrous oxide and plastic pressure release nozzles imported from China.
He added that during the search of the two containers, a total of 522 cartons of Nitrous oxide containing 16,366 packages weighing 64,852kg were recovered along with the paraphernalia for recreational use, adding that the importer of the consignment, Stephen Eze, and his agent, Michael Chukwuma, were thereafter arrested and detained for further investigation.
In the same vein, NDLEA operatives on patrol along the Owerri-Onitsha expressway in Imo State on Thursday intercepted three cartons containing 18 canisters of the same substance weighing 11.5kg heading to Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A swift follow-up operation was conducted in the Stadium Road area of Elekahia, Port Harcourt, the same day, leading to the arrest of the owner of the shipment, 24-year-old Tonye Kalio.