Nigeria: Drug smuggling cases increase

Our local correspondents in Nigeria advise that there have been several ships arrested there following findings of drugs during discharge operations. In most of the cases, the loading operations had taken place in Brazil and drugs seem to have been found within the cargo holds.

The purpose of this alert is to ensure that the necessary due diligence is exercised, keeping in mind that drug smuggling has thrived with the increased use of commercial shipping, thereby reducing the potential risk of ships and crew members being detained. The consequences of drugs smuggling can be severe for both the shipowners and crew.

Significant delays can result from the investigation proceedings initiated by the local authorities, which in turn may lead to loss of hire and potentially other consequential claims from cargo interests or the terminals. The ship and crew members may also be detained by the authorities, sometimes for an undefined period. Crew members may be disembarked for interrogation at shore facilities or kept in prison if they are deemed to be involved in the carriage of the drugs. A substantial fine may also be imposed and/or the ship may be threatened with confiscation unless satisfactory security is provided.

Members are recommended to co-operate fully with any authority carrying out such investigation(s) and contact the club assistance.

Man on yellow ladder

Source: The Standard Club

Detailed information and the full circular of our correspondents in Nigeria Messrs. Africa Marine Services can be read via the link below. We thank our local correspondent in Nigeria Messrs. Africa Marine Services for this update.

By way of a reminder, the club had previously notified members over the rise of drug incidents for ships calling Brazil, this is linked below. General advice on the cover position and loss preventing steps for members’ consideration can also be found at the bottom of this page. If you also wish to find out more on the related Interpol’s CrimJust project, please visit the link below. Lastly, Risk Intelligence has issued a whitepaper on November 2021 which focuses on cocaine supply through shipping trafficking routes and the impact on ports, which is attached for your further guidance.

Please contact the club in case there is a suspicion of drug smuggling associated with the ship and/or the crew.
Source: The Standard Club

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