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Clearing agents write Canadian embassy, to meet envoy over illicit drug 

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Abiola Seun Following the arrest of a clearing agent, Otunba Sunday Oyebola, over alleged importation of banned drugs into the country by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), yesterday said they will meet with Canadian envoy over illicit drug Importation into the country.The Acting President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto, in a chat with newsmen said the association will be engaging the Canadian ambassador as regards high influx of illicit drugs into Nigeria through the country.He further explained that the association had written to the Canadian embassy for a meeting with the economy attaché as regards the importation of psychotropic drugs.“We put up a letter to Canadian embassy requesting for working visit, the issue of illicit drugs and psychotropic substances from Canada was the title of the letter.

” We told the Ambassador that we need to have a meeting with him including his economic attaché because our preliminary investigation showed that some quantity of this drugs may be allowed in Canada and whether by omission or commission, some of these drugs are deliberately left in containers when they are being imported into Nigeria.“So we want to have discussion with the Canadian ambassador and provide solution so that our members will not be at the receiving end anymore.“The rate of the importation of the drugs is increasing and what, Otunba Sunday Oyebola is suffering is just Professional hazard which anybody can suffer. We know that if he cooperate with NDLEA in unraveling the importer, he will be granted bail” Kayode Farinto, however, charged all members of the association to ensure importers sign indemnity form before going into contractual agreement.He noted that the association had overtime warned members to ensure signing of indemnity form before deciding to take up a consignment for clearance.He confirmed that the arrested agent is a member of ANLCA, even as he disclosed that the agent wasn’t the importer of the drug but someone contracted to clear the cargo out of the Lagos Seaport and was not aware of what was hidden in the box.According to Farinto, the name on the bill of laden clearly showed the accused agent wasn’t the importer of the consignment.He said, “We called this press briefing to first of all correct the erroneous impression going round that ANLCA chieftain is involved in the clearance of illicit drugs and psychotropic substance and also reiterate all our efforts in the last few months to enlighten our members on the role to play particularly in the cost of cargo clearance.“We are collaborating with NDLEA. It’s s our responsibility. Otunba Sunday Oyebola is a high member of ANLCA, one of the chapters executive at PTML and he was involved in the clearance of a container said to contain three vehicles, but unfortunately, at the point of examination, loud and some psychotropic substances were found in that container.“Let me say this, Otunba Sunday Oyebola is just a clearing agent, he is not the importer of the consignment and the consignment was not consigned in his name.“This issue is now being politicised, it is a national issue and we should have concern as regards the safety of our environment.
” In the last one year, the importation of psychotropic substances have been on the increase and you will recall that when we had our first NEC meeting this year, we advised our members to start giving their importers indemnity form and at the second NEC meeting, we advised that members should protect themselves by making sure that importers sign the indemnity form and go a step further by notorising it.
“So if it is notorized you would have been seen to have done due diligence then such agent will be on the side of the law. “If Otunba Sunday Oyebola has yielded to this advice,he would have been a friend to NDLEA now trying to assist them to unravel the importer.Also speaking, the National Secretary of the association Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila posited that the man in question is not a drug dealer as being reported but clearing agent.He also reiterated that it’s important that clearing agents do a KYC (Know Your Customer) of their importers, which he said, will help protect agents when need arises.He also reiterated that Oyebola was not the importer of the consignee but the clearing agent contracted in the clearance of the goods which was found to have contained some psychotropic substances.

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