A bunch of Nigerian law enforcement agencies and the Nigerian Navy, trumpeted a big success in the war against drug trafficking after they jointly detained a Thai bulk carrier CHAYANEE NAREE, which was drifting or moving in loops outside Nigerian waters south of Lagos since arrival from Santos, Brazil, on Oct 1, with ETA Lagos Oct 9. According to the Nigerian official story, agencies were alerted by Nigerian Interpol, and intelligent reports were received from the UK Border Force.
“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.”
“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 6 pm on October 13, 2021, a bag was found in the cargo hold one, with 30 packages of cocaine inside, totaling 32.9 kilos. Further search and investigation continued.”
The ship’s crew consisting of 22 Thai nationals, were arrested, and are said to be kept in custody.
There’s absolutely nothing suspicious in ships waiting outside Nigerian waters, for days and sometimes weeks, – it’s a common safety practice in dangerous waters of the Gulf of Guinea. What’s suspicious, is the quantity of busted drugs – 33 kilos in the cargo hold of a bulk carrier, only? Usually, it’s hundreds of kilos or even tons, not mere several dozen kilos. It wasn’t worth the trouble, one might say. What is it, then? Well, it very well might be a staged “drug bust”. Similar cases happen regularly all around the globe. Hopefully, Thailand won’t leave its’ citizen behind, and provide all necessary support and legal defense, to repatriate them home as soon as possible.
STATEMENT issued by ship’s owner PCL, confirms my version of staged bust:
Clarification on the news regarding an arrest of 22 Thai crew members on board M.V. Chayanee Naree in Nigeria
… At the load port in Santos Brazil, on 18 September 2021, drugs were found inside one of the cargo holds of the Vessel. Following this, the Brazilian authorities conducted a thorough investigation following which they were satisfied that none of our crew members were involved in or assisted the smuggling of drugs…
… Upon arriving at the discharge berth in Lagos, Nigeria on 9 October 2021, the Nigerian authorities conducted an extensive search of the Vessel, however, no suspicious objects were uncovered. The Vessel then commenced discharging the cargo. However, on 13 October 2021, drugs were found in a cargo hold of the Vessel…
Full text: https://www.set.or.th/set/pdfnews.do?newsId=16342546926700&sequence=0
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