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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and its South African counterparts in the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) have entered into the second phase of deliberation on how to tackle the increasing drug trafficking between both countries.

NDLEA, in a meeting held at its national headquarters in Abuja, sought to forge stronger operational ties as part of efforts to combat illicit drug trafficking between the two countries.

The Chairman, NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Marwa (Rtd), who was represented by the Agency’s Secretary, Mr. Shadrach Haruna, said the deliberation was a follow-up to a virtual meeting held by the agencies in April 2022.

He noted that the synergy between the two countries in tracking illegal drug peddlers would bridge the gap and rekindle its efforts by deepening collaboration in line with the principles of common and shared responsibility in tackling the global drug problem.

The NDLEA chairman said among other expected outcomes of the visit is the need to have a collaborative Memorandum of Understanding to combat drug trafficking and related crimes between the NDLEA and South African DPCI.

“This will provide a framework for enhanced information exchange, and joint operations/joint airport interdiction; all promising dividends that would benefit our two organisations and countries greatly,” he said.

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Threatened by the daring nature of drug cartels, especially with the emergence of methamphetamine laboratories and the appearance of fentanyl production facilities, NDLEA said the synergy would see to a seamless exchange of intelligence and technical expertise to end the trade.

“This will not only help to halt the spread of illicit production of these deadly illicit drugs but also prevent locally produced ones from being smuggled between both countries. The need for collaboration became urgent given the volume of trade and social interactions between the two countries leading to a corresponding trade in illicit drugs.

“Another expected outcome of this visit is the expectation of an agreed mechanism that would lead to the dislodgement and disruption of major drug trafficking syndicates operating between the two jurisdictions,” Marwa stated.

The South African delegation led by Lt. Gen. Senaba Mosipi, said the collaboration between the two countries was necessary because criminals operating in the drug trade recognise no borders or geographical boundaries.

He said to effectively combat their criminality, proactive measures within the arms of the law are imperative.

“We have the capacity to work together no matter the distance between our countries. The operational collaboration between us and NDLEA is important to combat the operations of criminal syndicates in our countries.”

He was optimistic that the synergy would herald tough times for the drug consortium operating between the two countries.