The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) says it has seized N7. 3 billion worth of Tramadol brought into the country from India.
In a statement on Thursday, Joseph Attah, spokesman of the NCS, explained that they were able to seize the pharmaceutical products because of intelligence provided by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Attah said the service also intercepted an aircraft and a helicopter from the US because end-user certificates and other documents were not be provided by the importers.
“It is in line with the determination to fight this ugly trend that the Apapa command of the service intercepted 40 X 40 feet containers, mostly from India, laden with Tramadol and other pharmaceutical products with a duty paid value (DPV) of seven billion, three hundred and eighteen million, nine hundred and seventy-eight thousand and sixty-five (N7,318,978,065.00) naira only,” he quoted Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of NCS, as saying.
“The service is not only making concerted efforts to ensure that only maximum revenue is collected but also to safeguard the security and well-being of the citizenry.
“We are all aware of the dangers that the deliberate non-compliance to import and export procedures pose to our nation as importers bring in all manner of items which put the security and health of the nation at great risk.
“Terrorists, kidnappers and other criminal elements get hold of these goods such as controlled drugs to perpetrate their heinous activities.”
The spokesman said the customs CG expressed dismay at the importers who attempted to induce officers of the service.
“Importers of this items offered bribes to the tune of N150 million to my officers to effect the release of just one container with promises of even bigger sums to follow in the event that, their first attempt succeeds,” Ali said.
“The officers played along and eventually arrested three suspects with the money. Let me assure you that the on going investigation will be thorough to bring all those remotely connected to justice.”
Ali said the action violates section 36 of the customs and excise management act (CEMA),Cap C45, LFN2004.