Customs Sets to Sign MoU with India, Turkey to Curtail Illicit Drugs Smuggling into Nigeria

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Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi

By DAPO OLAWUNI

The Nigeria Customs Service has said that it is exploring signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with customs administration of countries like China, India, Turkey among others, in other to stem the tide of importation of illicit drugs through Nigerian port.

Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi while displaying a landmark seizure of Cannabis Indica and other unregistered pharmaceuticals worth N4.1billion at the Tin Can Island Port on Friday stated that the service had already signed an MoU with China on exchange of data to curtail illicit importations.

Adeniyi said the service is on the verge of replicating same Memorandum of Understanding with India and Turkey, following the required approval from the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He said “We believe that partnership works in curtailing the tide of smuggling. Last month, I was in China and I had the privilege of meeting with the Vice President of the Chinese customs administration and this meeting culminated in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

“This MoU gives us a platform and an opportunity to collaborate in exchange of data in investigation. So, if any seizure is linked to China for example, we would give them all the information about the shipment and they will give us information about the exporters, sales and so on.

“We have a similar MoU which we are just about signing with the Customs administration of India, this has taken us some time, these things can help us in the investigation and prosecution of some of these cases.

“I am very sure that once we get the signals from the Ministry of foreign affairs, we would begin to executive that agreement with the customs administration of India.

“We also have agreements with Turkey and some other customs administration for the exchange of data that would help us in our job” he said

Giving a breakdown of the seized drugs on Friday, the Customs boss said they were; Three plastic drums concealing several packets of Cannabis Indica, 46 bags of Cannabis Indica and 2,144 packets of Cannabis Indica all weighing 1,072kilogrammes (kg), with 877 packs cartons of Barcadin cough syrup with codeine.

The unauthorised pharmaceuticals includes 200 bottles of 100ml per carton and 82 cartons of Really Extra Diclofenac Sodium 50mg tablets – 600 packs per carton; imported from India.

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