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Cablegate: Nigeria: Ndlea Uses Press Conference to Tout

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ABUJA 002744

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE


FOR INL/AAE AND AF/W
DEAHQS FOR OFE


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: NDLEA USES PRESS CONFERENCE TO TOUT
INCREASED DRUG SEIZURES, NEW FOCUS ON SEA PORTS

REF: ABUJA 2710


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PROTECT ACCORDINGLY.


1.(U) Lagos-based media representatives were invited to
a press conference at the NDLEA's Headquarters October
18. RNLEO and DEA Attache attended, along with the UK
High Commission's Drug Liaison Officer. Prior to
parading out the six traffickers arrested at the Lagos
airport in the last two weeks, NDLEA Chairman Lafiaji gave a
short address and answered the media's questions. The
Chairman highlighted the recent Kano and Lago airports'
drug seizures - totalling 12 kilograms of heroin, 3
kilograms of cocaine, and 116 kilograms of ephedrine,
the essential chemical in methamphetamine production.
(Note: The ephedrine seized represents one seizure made
in August from air cargo arriving in Lagos. End Note)


2.(U) The feature event, however, was the October 15
seizured at the Lagos airport of 11.2 kilograms of
Southwest Asian heroin found in the checked baggage of a
Nigerian man returning from India via Addis Ababa on
Ethiopian Airlines. Lafiaji also noted that the
previous night (October 17) NDLEA officers at the
Lagos airport arrested a 62-year woman attempting
to board the SAA/NA flight to New York/JFK, after
discovering through an x-ray that she was carrying
pellets of cocaine internally. Lafiaji reported that
cocaine and heroin seized to date in 2001 totals 124
kilograms (89 kilograms of cocaine and 35 kilograms of
heroin). Most of these seizures were the result of
intelligence developed by NDLEA investigators.


3.(U) Lafiaji also announced that the NDLEA now enjoys
unrestricted access to Nigeria's sea ports. This resulted
from a Presidential decree signed shortly after the NDLEA
Lagos Zonal Unit's seizure of 60 kilograms of cocaine at the
Tin Can Island port on August 27. With its newly expanded
writ, the NDLEA has now decided to create five new Zonal
Commands to handle the country's five main ports - Apapa, Tin
Can Island,
Calabar, Port Harcourt and Warri. This will bring the
total number of Zonal Commands up to 25 and will allow a
greater concentration of NDLEA resources on port interdiction
efforts.


4.(SBU) In a side meeting with DEA Attache and RNLEO, the
Chairman disclosed that on October 17 he had attended a
meeting on money laundering chaired by the Vice
President and including the Ministers of Justice and
Finance. Lafiaji claimed that a decision had been made
to move ahead expeditiously to revise Nigeria's
inadequate money laundering law and to create a
Financial Crimes Commission (FCC) in order to address
international concern over Nigeria's performance in this
law enforcement area. Lafiaji also proclaimed his
support for a centralized anti-money laundering agency
like the FCC, a noticeable change from his previous
statements on the subject (reftel).


Jeter

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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