Nigeria and India have agreed to exchange vital intelligence on the activities of drug trafficking syndicates operating vulnerable drug routes between both countries, with the latter also strengthening the capacity of NDLEA officers through training.
The agreements were reached at the end of a two-day bilateral meeting in New Delhi, India between an NDLEA delegation led by its Chairman, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd), and its India counterpart, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), led by its Director General, Mr. Satya Narayan Pradhan.
The meeting also recommended exchange of best practices in drug demand reduction and sharing of real time information on the involvement of nationals of both countries in drug trafficking as well as conducting joint operations, while agreeing to hold another bilateral meeting in Nigeria in 2023.
Another key objective of the meeting was the collaboration between NDLEA and NCB on how to control the importation of tramadol above 100mg as well as certain categories of precursors into Nigeria.
During his presentation, Marwa underscored the importance of the meeting to the global action against drug trafficking, given the historical antecedents of both countries, the commonality of language, legal systems, population and the existing robust trade relations.
The NDLEA boss who underlined the importance of international cooperation and stakeholders’ engagement, reiterated the need for strengthened collaboration between the two agencies in the fight against illicit drug cultivation, production and trafficking.
While highlighting Nigeria’s drug use and trafficking challenges, he noted the increased national efforts to adopting a balanced approach to addressing both the drug supply and demands reduction.
Marwa expressed the hope that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would define the relationship between the two agencies with reference to information sharing, assets tracing and forfeiture of assets found to be connected to, and/or proceeds, of drug trafficking would be finalised soon.
On his part, Mr. Satya Narayan Pradhan of NCB, highlighted the issues, particularly the trafficking of Heroin and Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) in the country. He said that the drug trafficking through maritime and air route is a challenge for both countries.
Pradhan elaborated on trends showing the emergence of illicit drug trafficking through couriers, dark-net markets and social media platforms with a promise to share the information about the latest mechanism and technologies to fight the emerging threats.