The Nigerian Navy says it has detained 22 Thai nationals for allegedly trafficking 32.9kg of cocaine from Brazil to the shores of Nigeria.
The seafarers were reportedly arrested by the navy, following an intelligence report from the UK border force.
The cargo ship is said to have left Brazil in September.
Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Bashir Mohammed, a commodore and commander of NNS Beecroft, said after the suspects were arrested, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) conducted tests on their cargo and found out that they were trafficking cocaine.
“Upon entering Nigerian waters, the vessel was intercepted by Nigerian Navy ship Ekulu, and escorted to NPA’s port where she was directed to berth on October 9, 2021 and taken into custody by the navy,” Mohammed said.
“Thereafter, other agencies were invited to conduct an extensive and comprehensive search of the vessel for narcotics and other contraband items.
“The suspected vessel was thoroughly searched by a combined team of Nigerian Navy, Interpol Nigeria, Nigeria Customs Service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
“The search began on October 9, 2021, and at about 6pm on October 13, 2021, efforts of the search team was rewarded when a bag was found in the vessel’s cargo compartment one (VCCO).
“However, tests conducted on the contents of the bag by the NDLEA confirmed the substance to be cocaine wrapped in 30 slabs weighing 32.9kg. Accordingly, the substance was handed over to the NDLEA, while further search and investigation continued on every nook and cranny of the vessel.”