The Nigerian Navy ship Beecroft, as part of Operation Awatse, arrested two Ghanaian suspects with a huge wooden boat, loaded with over 120 bags of cannabis sativa, weighing about 5,250 kg off Lagos Anchorage.

The suspects arrested on board the boat are Emmanuel Doedcher and Godswill Olamide.

A statement on Tuesday from base information officer NNS Beecroft, Warrant Officer Happiness Collins, said the suspects and the boat were arrested during a personnel-led patrol in the early hours of Thursday, December 7, 2023.

According to the statement, Commander NNS Beecroft and Maritime Component Commander of Operation Awatse, Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga, said the operation was detected by the Maritime Domain Awareness Facility, the Falcon Eye Alignment.

He said: “In a maritime security feat, as part of the ongoing Operation Water Guard, the NNS Beecroft patrol team successfully intercepted a huge wooden boat, loaded with over 120 bags of narcotics suspected to be cannabis sativa, weighing around 5,250 kg, along with two foreign suspects, near Lagos Anchorage.

“This arrest occurred in the early hours of December 7, 2023.

“This feat is attributed to the seamless integration of reliable human intelligence and the effective utilization of the Maritime Domain Awareness Engine, Falcon Eye Alignment.”

Oguntuga said the foreigners were handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for further investigation.

Speaking on the benefits of utilizing this technology, he said: “The deployment of cutting-edge technology has consistently yielded positive results, demonstrating the Nigerian Navy’s commitment to improving maritime security for economic prosperity.

“The confiscated wooden boat, along with its illicit cargo and the suspects, identified as Emmanuel Doedcher and Godswill Olamide, both from Ghana, were immediately detained and handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation and necessary action.

“The successful confiscation and subsequent handover underscores the Nigerian Navy’s unwavering commitment to mitigating the impact of drugs, recognized as catalysts for crime, violence and other vices that pose a significant threat to national security.”

Oguntuga further emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts with relevant stakeholders, institutions and government agencies under the principle of burden sharing to reduce crime and criminality in the country’s maritime environment.