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Nigeria Intercepts Illicit Drugs Linked To ISIS Terrorists In Middle East

The drug enforcement agency says it stopped what could have been a lethal chemical weaponry for terror gangs in Nigeria to gain more power.

Nigeria’s anti-drug agency says it has seized 74.119 kilograms of  Captagon, a brand of Amphetamine drug— associated with ISIS terrorists in the Middle East— at the country’s major seaport in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

Buba Marwa, the Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Wednesday, Sept. 8, said the seizure followed a six-month-long investigation after the anti-drug agency had received an Intel from its international partners on the shipment of  451,807 tablets of the Captagon narcotics to Nigeria from the Middle East.

Valued at N5.8 billion, the drugs were concealed inside rotor coils of machines reportedly built specifically for their importation into Nigeria, Marwa said.

The drugs, Marwa added, passed through three countries having first been transmitted into a North African country.

“What should give any discerning Nigerian a nightmare concerning this drug is the fact that its production and sale is controlled by militias and large criminal groups in the Middle East,” he said.

“Beyond any doubt, Captagon has been linked to the escalation of the Syrian Civil War. A lot of seizures have been made since 2017, mostly in the Arabian Peninsula, and in Italy and Turkey, and the point of origin, almost all the time, were traced back to Syria and Lebanon.”

“This gave rise to the theory that ISIS is behind the production and sale of Captagon as a means of generating funds for weapons and combatants, and for use as a stimulant to keep them fighting.”

According to him, the narcotic drug produces an euphoric intensity in users, allowing them to stay awake for days.

Additionally, Marwa said it makes the users fearless and predisposes them to reckless action that puts the lives of people around them in jeopardy.

“If these facts are not grim enough, we should all remember a lesson from history, when in World War Two, Nazi Germany wreaked havoc across Europe with chemically-enhanced soldiers that the combined forces of Europe could not tame,” he said.

He referenced the use of Pervatin, a brand of methamphetamine belonging to the same family group as amphetamine that transformed the Nazi fighters into “super soldiers” was significant in the ignominious cruelty created during the Hitler days.

“This is the same condition we have presently with insurgents, bandits, cultists, robbers, kidnappers and herders spilling rampaging across the country,” he said.

“Given the dark and dangerous background of Captagon, it’s not difficult to guess correctly that the destination for the seized drug is none other than the camps of insurgents and bandits all over the country.”

Terror gangs, whose motive has been mainly financial, have been wreaking havoc in Northwest and North-central Nigeria just as ISWAP terrorists continue the 12 year-old war in the Northeast region. 

“Imagine the impact of this drug in the hands of criminal gangs or a fraction of the profit from its sale being used to fuel criminalities across the country,” Marwa said. 

“We can think of our worst-case scenarios and they will still be farther from the repercussions that could be unleashed on the country.”

He added it was the first time the drug was brought into West Africa.


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Aishat Babatunde

Aishat Babatunde heads the digital reporting desk. Before joining HumAngle, she worked at Premium Times and Nigerian Tribune. She is a graduate of English from the University of Ibadan.

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