By Dapo Olawuni
The Seme Customs Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday said it’s officials seized unregistered pharmaceutical products with a Duty Paid Value of N27, 861, 538.00 along the Abidjan-Lagos border corridor.
Addressing newsmen in Seme over the seizure, Customs Area Controller of the command, Compt Dera Nnadi said that the unregistered pharmaceutical products were concealed in a truck with registration number GL 6663 GH belonging to one of the major conglomerates.
According to Compt Nnadi, “On the 9th of May 2023 at about 0830hrs, officers and men of Seme Command of Nigeria Customs Service while conducting stop and search along Abidjan Lagos Corridor intercepted a truck with registration number GL 6663 GH belonging to one of the major conglomerates concealed with some cartons of pharmaceutical products.
“The truck was taken to the station at Seme for proper examination and upon conduct of examination, the following unregistered pharmaceutical products were discovered: MORPHINE SULFATE 100ml x 1076 bottles; AMODIAQUINE SUSPENSION 60ml x 94 bottles; VERMOX 500mg x 2970 packages x 1 sachet x 1 tablet; MEPACRINE TABLETS 100mg x 390 packets x 1000 tablets; CLOFENAC SR 100mg x 298 packets x 10 sachets x 10 tablets; LOSARTAIL POTASSIUM 50mg x 1485 packages x 2 sachets x 28 tablets and VIREST 400 ACICLOVIR tablets. B.P 400mg x 499 packages x 5 sachets x 5 tablets.
“The seized unregistered pharmaceutical products have a Duty Paid Value of N27, 861, 538.00 only.
“This seizure contravened both Nigeria Customs Service banning the importation of pharmaceutical products through the land border without approval and further contravening NAFDAC laws as they do not have NAFDAC registration numbers. Furthermore, five out of the seven seized pharmaceutical products have expired.
“The Command and indeed every Nigerian is worried about this particular seizure considering the dangerous use of morphine which is a derivate of opium. This drug can be deployed for illicit use to aid criminals.
“Let me reiterate our commitment to fight smuggling under any guise and also states that those trying our resolve will continue to meet their water-loo as we remain resolute at ensuring adequate surveillance of our borders.
“While we draw your attention to this development, recall that, on the 21st of April, 2023, the officer of the Command on a routine patrol along the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor intercepted a Ford Bus conveying Seven (7) large sacks containing five hundred and fifty-three (553) parcels and four suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.
“In line with the dictates of the Nigeria Customs Service in the promotion of inter-agency collaboration and synergy, the CGC Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali Rtd directed that the seized items and two (2) suspects should be handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation.
“To this end, the 553 parcels of Cannabis Sativa and two (2) suspects are today being handed over to NDLEA. Two (2) other suspects had earlier been handed over to the sister security agency for necessary action.
“Once again, let me thank the Comptroller General Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali Rtd and the management of Customs for the encouragement and support to the Command. I also give credit for our success to the tireless effort of officers and men of Seme Area Command for their doggedness and of course to you gentlemen of the press for always heeding our call to propagate our message of anti-smuggling to the society.”