The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme border area command, has intercepted 1,682 parcels of cannabis sativa (Indian hemp) worth over N25,290,000 concealed inside a dead body.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the command, Comptroller Mohammed Garba, disclosed this at a press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said the banned substance was smuggled into Nigeria through the border.
According to Garba, a vehicle carrying the corpse was stopped on the Owode-Apa Road by customs intelligent officers, who suspected that something was hidden in the dead body.
He said: “After cross-checking, it was discovered by the officers that 55 wraps of cannabis sativa were hidden under the coffin carrying the corpse.
“The two people inside the vehicle were arrested immediately but we allowed them to take away the corpse for burial.
“Also 1,582 wraps of this item were concealed in a Mitsubishi Canter branded in Indomie noodles insignia also intercepted by our officers.
“There are other 45 wraps of cannabis also intercepted indiscriminately on checking points which resulted in the total of 1, 682 wraps of cannabis intercepted.
The comptroller said that the Mitsubishi Canter was coming from Ghana when it was stopped, adding that six people were arrested with it. “The eight people arrested by our staff will be prosecuted,” he said.
He said that the command would not relent on its efforts against illegal trade activities and other trans-border crimes
Essein Udotong, the commander, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Seme Border, said that customs had gone beyond revenue generation.
He hailed the operatives of the customs area command for intercepting the substance which, he said, could cause much damage to smokers if not seized. Udotong said that the suspects would be charged to court and that the substance would be burnt.
He said that the agency would carry out further investigations to find out those involved in smuggling cannabis into the country.