The Nigeria Customs Service on Thursday seized 40-foot containers loaded with tramadol and other drugs from India worth N7, 318,978,065.00.
According to a statement by the spokesman for the service, Joseph Attah, officers also intercepted a helicopter and an aircraft from the United States of America over failure to provide end-user certificate and other documents.
Attah explained that the arrest was made possible following intelligence and collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NAFDAC).
The statement read v in part, “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.”
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (retired) also reiterated his commitment to boosting revenue for the Federal Government and also tracking down criminals, especially illegal drug dealers.
He said, “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.”
Speaking further, the customs boss decried a situation whereby some importers would induce officers of the service with lucrative money in a desperate move to import harmful products into the country.
He said, “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.
“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.”
On the seized aircraft, Ali said the action violates Section 36 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA),Cap C45, LFN2004.
He explained that Investigations are on-going to fish out the owner(s) of the helicopter and the second aircraft, a Cessna 182A imported from the US.