The Nigeria Customs Service of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A Ikeja, Lagos has arrested eight (8) suspects in connection with twenty-five (25) seizures valued at two billion, fifty-five million, three hundred and twenty-one thousand, three hundred and eighty-nine Naira, eighty-four Kobo (N2, 055, 321,389.84) within the last two weeks.
Among the seizures was a MAN Diesel truck with registration number XB 286 BEN along Afromedia Estate by Egbeda Junction, beside Alaba International Market carrying 2,748 cartons of DSP Codeine Cough Syrup 100mg (100 per carton) and 95 cartons of Chaka pain Xtra based on credible information.
This is the second time in a row the unit is intercepting this substance since the federal government banned importation of cough syrup that contains codeine.
Speaking while conducting newsmen around the seizures in Lagos on Wednesday, the outgoing Customs Area Controller of the unit, Comptroller Uba Garba Mohammed put the value of the substance at one billion, one hundred and seventy-five million, two hundred thousand Naira (N1, 175, 200, 000.00) adding that the driver of the truck on sighting the officers of the unit, abandoned the truck and fled.
Mohammed added that forty-nine (49) cartons of tramadol capsules 100mg were evacuated from warehouse in Ajao Estate following a tip off saying that the drugs would be handed over to the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for further investigation.
He further disclosed that the unit evacuated twenty-one (21) sacks of Pangolin scales weighing 1,031kg and four (4) pieces of elephant tusks weighing 29.35kg from a shop located in Tejuosho market in Victoria Island following credible information by warehouse operations team led by Assistant Comptroller Mutalib Sule.
“The occupant of the shop fled and is still at large but investigation is already ongoing towards getting the culprit arrested and prosecuted. The seized endangered species have a DPV of two hundred and fifty-three million, five hundred and sixty-six naira, seven Kobo (N253, 566, 056. 7). You will recall that the Minister of state Environment, Mallam Usman Jubril accompanied by the CITES delegates from UN visited the unit, inspected the previous seizure of such endangered species this year and even commended us for a job well done. The trade on such endangered species is globally prohibited hence the need for us all to fight against such illegality so that such endangered species do not go into extinction”. He said
Ubah added that within the weeks under review, the unit intercepted one Ford Transit Bus with Engine number XL32452L along Olorunda axis of Ogun state conveying 39 sacks and 1,220 parcels of Cannabis Sativa popularly known as Indian Hemp weighing 1,610kg concealed with baskets of fresh tomatoes, pepper and vegetables.
He however informed that in the spirit of inter-agency relationship, the seized substance would be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation even as he gave the list of other items seized by the unit within the period to include; seventeen (17) units of exotic vehicles, 1, 380 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 1,126 pieces of used shoes and 140 jerrycans of vegetable oil.
“Among the detained vehicles include 7 Toyota Land Cruiser Jeeps (2015-2018), 4 Toyota Hiace Bus (2017), 2 Toyota Coaster Bus (2017) and 4 Toyota Camry (2014). These 17 exotic vehicles have a duty paid value of three hundred and forty-eight million, two hundred and ninety-one thousand, two hundred and fifty-one Naira, ninety-four Kobo (384, 291, 251. 94). While 4 of the vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu-Ode expressway, 13 were evacuated from House Plot 1, Akintailor Close, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos based on credible information. 8 suspects were arrested in connection with these 25 seizures”, he stated.