Apapa Customs Arrests Suspect Over Tramadol Drugs Concealed In 40X 40FT Containers

Hyacinth Chinweuba

The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service Anti-Smuggling operatives has intercepted 40x40ft containers concealed with Tramadol and other illicit drugs imported from India.

According to the Comptroller General of the Service,  (rtd), who made this disclosure, admitted that the seized consignment is the highest single seizure of drugs made by the service this year 2018.

The Customs boss, while showing the intercepted items and the $421,000 (equivalent of N150m) cash allegedly offered as bribe by the smugglers to Customs officers, aimed at compromising the officers for quick release of one of the containers, said that the Smugglers promise to settle for each container as discussed if the first offer scale through.

Ali therefore emphatically stated that three persons connected to the illicit drugs import have been arrested as well as the Customs officers involved in the deal.

The Customs Service he said is frantically making concerted efforts to ensure that maximum revenue is realized, as well as to safeguard the security and wellbeing of the citizenry.

“We are all aware of the dangers and the deliberate non-compliance to import and export procedures potend to our nation as importers bring in all manner of hazardous items which put the security and health of the nation at great risk, he said.

“Terrorists, kidnappers and other criminal elements get hold of these goods such as controlled drugs to perpetrate their heinous activities, adding that, “It is in line with the determination to fight the ugly trend that the Command of the service intercepted 40x40ft containers imported from India, laden with tramadol and other pharmaceutical products with a Duty Paid Value of N7, 318,978,065.00,” respectively.

Convinced, that the Command is playing tremendous role in the combat of crime at the ports, contribution to the government coffer on revenue. Thereby attributing the achievement to the vigilance and intelligence gathering within the system as well as information from the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, a strong ally of the Service.

He said, “It is indeed very worrisome to note that there are Nigerians who are ready to make money and sabotage the nation at the expense of human lives by bringing in large quantities of dangerous drugs that have grave consequences on health and national security, he said.

Ali however revealed that, “In their desperation of criminal attitude, importers of these items offered bribes of the sum of N150m to our officers to effect the quick release of just one container with promises of even bigger sums to be given in effect that their first attempt succeeds, this is one of the biggest bribery scandal in the history of the Service.

In pretence that the deal is sealed, “The officers played along and eventually arrested three suspected persons with the money, assuring that, the on-going investigation will be duly carried out to bring all those remotely connected to justice,” without delay.

Col. Ali also noted that the Apapa Customs Command within the same period seized two aircrafts, saying that one of the aircrafts was falsely declared as 388 bags of cashew nuts.

This action he said, violates section 36 of the Customs and Excise Management Act, cap C45, LFN 2004 and that nvestigations are on, to track down the owners of the helicopter.

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