Leaders of the delegation of Norwegian Intelligence Service and Customs officials, Mr. Kai Arild Holm, yesterday, in Lagos, said no fewer than 1,585 Nigerians were arrested and detained in Norwegian prisons between 2000 and 2012 over drug trafficking offences.
Disclosing this development during the team’s visit to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in Lagos, Holm said the visit to the anti-narcotic agency was to enhance collaboration with Nigerian authorities in counter narcotic smuggling, money laundering and human trafficking.
According to him, “in 2012, we arrested 432 Nigerians in Norway and deported 95 over drug trafficking. We need your help in dealing with the problem of West African criminal networks in Norway. Most Nigerians arrested over drug trafficking are based in Europe. They engage in drug smuggling and launder the money back home.”
Chairman of NDLEA, Ahamu Giade, said the decision to collaborate with the Norway was reached after a meeting with a delegation of Norwegian Police and Customs officials that visited the agency in Lagos, Monday.
He said: “We need to enter into a memorandum of understanding to deepen our collaboration with the Norwegian government. Drug trafficking is a common problem and we need to embrace the principle of shared responsibility in addressing it. The technical details will soon be perfected. This will lead to improvement in arrests, prosecution and assets forfeiture.”
The NDLEA boss who condemned the involvement of Nigerians in criminal activities abroad, promised to take necessary steps in boosting the image of the country.
The steps, he added, included effective collaboration in counter narcotics, financial and assets investigation and anti-drug education.
The delegation will spend some days in Nigeria while details of the memorandum are being worked out.