Customs uncovers N5 billion tramadol, codeine in Lagos warehouse

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday said it has intercepted tramadol, codeine and other restricted drugs illegally imported into the country at a hidden warehouse in Lagos.

The interception was made by the Zone A unit of the Comptroller General of Customs Strike Force team in Lagos.

Addressing newsmen at the Customs Training College, Ikeja, the National Public Relations Officer of the Service, Deputy Comptroller, Joseph Attah, said that the drugs estimated to be loaded in 21 trailers with street value of over N5 billion were being evacuated for custody, subsequent judicial process and destruction.

According to him, the smugglers believed that festive period is a time of merriment and less vigilance that smugglers of illicit drugs can have a field day to move their deadly drugs from Lagos to other parts of the country.

Explaining how the drug was discovered, he said, “on Sunday, August 13, 2019 at about 2am, the operatives of the Headquarters Strike force zone A intercepted one truck laden with dreaded codeine, tramadol and other controlled pain killers along Maryland, Ikeja.

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“This was immediately brought to the attention of the team leader, Deputy Controller of Customs, Usman Yahaya, who deepened preliminary investigation that led to the discovery of a warehouse along Oshodi-Mile 2 road stocked with dreaded tramadol, codeine and other unregistered pharmaceutical products without NAFDAC numbers.”

He disclosed that the warehouse was immediately sealed with a detachment of well-armed officers to guard the place. He stated that the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali has directed a thorough investigation with a view to bringing all those connected to the drugs to justice. He said evacuation of the drugs to the Federal Operations Unit has commenced.

His words, “while investigation goes on, the Service sees the feat by the HQ Strike force as another breakthrough in the ongoing crack down on smugglers especially those who want to make money at the expense of human lives.

“You will recall that last month, NCS in collaboration with NAFDAC commenced destruction of over N14 billion worth of seized illicit drugs. This hard stand against smugglers of items that could negatively affect the economy and security of the nation is resolute and will continue till these elements have a change of heart.” He therefore, called on well meaning Nigerians to support the Nigeria Customs Service on the patriotic move.

Samson Oyedeyi

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