The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) intercepted about 64,863.5 kg of Nitrous oxide [laughing gas] consignments at the Apapa harbor in Lagos and in Imo State.
This was revealed in a statement issued on Friday by NDLEA Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi.
This comes less than a week after the chairman and CEO of the NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), urged all commands and formations of the agency to launch an immediate crackdown on the unlawful sale and use of nitrous oxide.
According to Babafemi, NDLEA agents intercepted two containers marked MSKU 7626856 and MSKU 7689448 at the Apapa harbor on Wednesday after receiving credible intelligence that they contained cartons of Nitrous oxide and plastic pressure release nozzles imported from China.
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 recreational paraphernalia, he added, adding that the consignment’s importer, Stephen Eze, and his agent, Michael Chukwuma, were arrested and detained for further investigation.
Similarly, NDLEA agents on patrol along the Owerri-Onitsha expressway in Imo State apprehended three boxes containing 18 canisters of the same chemical totaling 11.5kg bound for Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday.
The same day, a quick follow-up operation was carried out in the Stadium Road area of Elekahia, Port Harcourt, leading to the arrest of the shipment’s owner, 24-year-old Tonye Kalio.