Illicit Drugs: Customs Seizes N3bn Tramadol

Abiola Seun

Barely a week after seizing 51 containers load of Tramadol, the Nigeria Customs Service has once again seized nine 40ft containers of Tramadol and other controlled painkiller drugs with a duty paid value of N3.06Billion at the Onne Port, Rivers State.

Deputy Comptroller General of Customs in-charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Augustine Chidi, disclosed this to newsmen at Port Harcourt II Area Command headquarters, Onne, shortly after inspecting the seized drugs.

Chidi, who stated that the nine containers were falsely declared as containing PVC ball valves and general goods, said upon diligent profiling of the exporter in the country of origin, India, there was reasonable suspicion that eventually led to the discovery of the dreaded drugs.

“You will recall that last week, Nigerian Customs Service announced the seizure of 50 containers in Lagos. This brings to a total of 59 containers of controlled drugs so far seized within this month,” Chidi said.

The NCS chief explained that the importation contravenes Section 46 of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap 45 LFN, adding that Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd.) has ordered a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Let me assure you that the NCS will not relent on its role of contributing to national economic and security well-being of Nigerians by ensuring that items that could negatively affect the citizenry are not allowed entry into the country,” he assured.

He stated that the NCS was increasingly relying on intelligence and technology to make it difficult for smugglers to have their way.

“Accordingly, I call on the general public, especially border community dwellers and port users, to desist from importation of illicit goods and also support NCS by providing credible information that will help us do better.”

Chidi expressed concern that the nation was experiencing increasing attempts by unpatriotic elements to smuggle dangerous drugs into the country.

He said the increase in smuggling of controlled drugs into the country could be traced to the Christmas and New Year seasons as well as the coming 2019 elections.

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