Illegal Drugs: Customs intercepts codeine, cannabis worth N1.175bn
The Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted a MAN diesel truck carrying 2,748 cartons of DSP codeine cough syrup of 100 milligrams and 95 cartons of painkiller drugs worth N1.175 billion.
Also intercepted by the unit were 49 cartons of tramadol capsules of 100 milligram and a Ford Transit Bus laden with 39 sacks and 1,220 parcels of Indian hemp, aka Cannabis Sativa, worth N128 million.
Seizure of the illicit drugs is coming barely two weeks after the unit impounded 498 cartons of codeine cough syrup worth N199.2 million along the Ijebu-Ode road.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, outgoing Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Muhammed Uba, said that the codeine syrup was intercepted along Afromedia Estate by Egbdea junction beside Alaba International, Lagos while the tramadol was evacuated from a warehouse in Ajao Estate, Lagos after a tip-off.
He said the drugs will be handed over to the National Agency for Food Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) for further investigation.
Uba disclosed that the Indian hemp, which was intercepted along Olorunda axis in Ogun State, was concealed with baskets of fresh tomatoes, pepper and vegetables in an attempt by the smugglers to beat Customs check.
“This is a trick by the smugglers being economic saboteurs to deceive the Customs. Unknown to them, we have information about what they are doing. Normally if you see vegetables and tomatoes, you will never expect there are goods that are not allowed to come in concealed there but based on information, we were able to see Indian hemp with a DPV of over N128 million.
“These are illicit drugs that are not allowed to be consumed by anybody. When people consume such drugs, they become aggressive and attack anybody because they don’t have sound mind. So it is for that reason that we have seized the items and they will be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation and prosecution,” he said.
Other seized items by the unit include 17 units of vehicles; 1,380 bags of foreign parboiled rice; 1,126 pieces of used shoes and 140 jerry cans of vegetable oil with a Duty Paid Value of N2.1 billion.
“Similarly and more remarkably among the seizure was the evacuation of 21 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 1,031 kilograms and 41 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 29.35 kilogram from a ship located at Tejuosho market in Victoria Island based on information by the warehouse operations team led by AC Mutalib Sule,” Uba stated.
He said the seized endangered species have a Duty Paid Value of N253 million. The occupant of the shop, according to him fled to evade arrest and is still at large.