By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service on Thursday announced that it arrested a twenty foot container of tramadol worth N1.275billion inside the APM Terminals in Apapa Lagos.
The seized 20 foot container of tramadol, packed in one hundred and fifty (150) cartons and concealed with cooking pots, alongside a suspect was handed to the narcotics division of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further agency action.
Making the handover at a press conference in Lagos ,Comptroller Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf, the Customs Area Controller of the Apapa Command announced that the drugs originated from India.
According to him, customs has been monitoring the tramadol container inside APM Terminals since year 2022.
A suspect who was also arrested in connection with the seizure was handed over to the agency for further investigation.
At the formal handover, The Customs Area Controller said
“On the authority of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), I, Comptroller MI Yusuf, Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command do hereby handover 1x20ft container No. PCIU 0183241 laden with eighty-one (81) cartons of 250mg and sixty-nine (69) cartons of 225mg of tramadol tablets (Each carton contains 72 rolls, each roll contains 10 packs, each pack contains 10 sachets, and each sachet contains 10 tablets) totaling 150 cartons of tramadol tablets to the Commander of Narcotics, Apapa Special Area Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further agency action.
“One (1) suspect arrested in connection with the seizure is also hereby handed over to the agency for further interrogation/investigation.
“This is to further strengthen the existing relationship between the Nigeria Customs Service, the NDLEA, and other relevant government agencies operating in the port. The fight against illicit drug abuse and trafficking is everyone’s business and the Nigeria Customs Service is all out to support the NDLEA in combating this ugly menace decisively” he said
The Controller disclosed further that the consignment came into the country from India in January 2021 and was deliberately not positioned by the importers to evade detection
He added that the synergy between NCS and NDLEA is waxing stronger as they always share intelligence in fighting drug smuggling and related crimes in the port.
According to him, the NCS uses different methods including forensic management analysis in processing intelligence to detect seizures and arrest suspects.
He also announced seizure of Omeprazole drugs shipped into the country without registration with National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
Receiving the tramadol consignment on behalf of the Commander, Sani Nahuche thanked the Apapa Command of NCS for it’s consistence in the fight against illicit drugs.
Nahuche, an Assistant Commander of Narcotics, speaking on behalf of the commander, said their synergy will continually improve
He described the seizure as a good feat as that quantity of dangerous drug has been prevented from getting into circulation.