BREAKING: Customs, NDLEA Synergy Yielding Positive Results Against Drug Smuggling

The synergy between the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), against drug trafficking and smuggling, no doubt has continued to wax stronger…..CONTINUE READING....CONTINUE READING

This is aptly seen in the quantum of illicit drugs the NCS has assisted to intercept in various commands across the Country, and handed over to the NDLEA since the beginning of this year.

Findings revealed that sometime in May, 2023, the Seme border Command intercepted and seized a truck load of unregistered pharmaceutical valued at N27.8 million.

The Command also disclosed that it had earlier seized 553 parcels of cannabis sativa otherwise known as Indian hemp.

Dera Nnadi, Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, who disclosed this during a press briefing then said that on May 9, 2023, at about 8.30am, officers and men of his Command, while conducting stop and search along Abidjan Lagos Corridor, intercepted a truck with registration number GL 6663 GH, belonging to one of the major conglomerates.

The truck, according to him was laden with some concealed cartons of pharmaceutical products.

“The truck was taken to the station at Seme for proper examination and upon the conduct of the examination, the following unregistered pharmaceutical products were discovered: Morphine sulfate 100ml x 1076 bottles, Amodiaquine suspension 60ml x 94 bottles; Vermox 500mg x 2970 packages x 1 sachet x 1 tablet, Mepacrine tablets 100mg x 390 packets x 1000 tablets, Clofenac SR 100mg x 298 packets x 10 sachets x 10 tablets; Losartail potassium 50 mg x 1485 packages x 2 sachets x 28 tablets and Virest 400 Aciclovir tablets B.P 400mg x 499 packages x 5 sachets x 5 tablets.

Comptroller Nnadi said the seized unregistered pharmaceutical products had a Duty Paid Value(DPV) of N27, 861, 538.00.

He added that the seized drugs contravened both Nigeria Customs Service banning the importation of pharmaceutical products through the land border without approval and further contravening NAFDAC laws as they do not have NAFDAC registration numbers.

“Furthermore, five out of the seven seized pharmaceutical products have expired.”

“The Command and indeed every Nigerian is worried about this particular seizure considering the dangerous use of morphine which is a derivate of opium. This drug can be deployed for illicit use to aid criminals.

“Let me reiterate our commitment to fight smuggling under any guise and also states that those trying our resolve will continue to meet their water-loo as we remain resolute at ensuring adequate surveillance of our borders.

“While we draw your attention to this development, recall that, on April 21, 2023, the officer of the Command on a routine patrol along the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor intercepted a Ford Bus conveying seven large sacks containing 553 parcels and four suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.

“In line with the dictates of the Nigeria Customs Service in the promotion of inter-agency collaboration and synergy, the seized items and two suspects were handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation.”

Also, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of NCS, early in August 2023 intercepted and seized two trucks loaded with 7,728 kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativia, otherwise known as Indian hemp.

The Unit said that three suspects were arrested in connection with the illicit drugs which were brought in from Ghana and heading to the South Eastern part of the Country.

PAY ATTENTION:  Senator Adeola-YAYI: Deconstructing a Disruptive Lawmaker

Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu, the Acting Controller Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, confirmed this during a press briefing and handing over of the seized drugs to NDLEA, in Lagos.

Ejibunu, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs (DC), also disclosed during the briefing and handing over of the seized drugs and the suspects arrested in connection with the drugs to the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Lagos State Command, that this success story would not be completed without “my expression of gratitude to the Ag. Comptroller -General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR whose maiden working visit to the Unit was a morale booster.

“I also use this medium to thank him and members of the management team for stoking our logistics for more gainful performance.”

A fortnight ago, the NCS said that it intercepted 229 cartons of Codeine syrup with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N95 million at Ijebu-Ode interchange express way in Ogun State.

Acting Comptroller General of Customs, Adeniyi who disclosed this during a press briefing in Lagos, at the headquarters of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A,’ said; “we are pleased to present a follow-up press release on the significant strides made by the Nigeria Customs Service in combating the illicit trade of drugs within our nation’s borders. Building upon the insights shared during our recent press conference addressing the seizure of a range of illicit substances, this update focuses on the resolute efforts of our diligent customs officers in intercepting yet another shipment of illicit drugs.”

The Acting CGC added that as part of the Service unwavering commitment to safeguarding “our society and protecting the well-being of our citizens, the NCS has once again demonstrated its dedication to eradicating the menace of drug trafficking.

“Officers of the Federal Operating Unit Zone A, acting on credible intelligence, flagged down a DAF truck close to Ijebu-Ode Junction. An examination of the truck revealed the concealment of 299 cartons of codeine syrup along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.

“NCS is yet again drawing national attention to the danger posed by unrestricted access to the use dangerous drugs. Codeine syrup is designated as a controlled item due to its rampant abuse by our delinquent youth.

“The misuse and illicit distribution of codeine-containing medications have given rise to grave security and public health concerns, contributing to a surge in addiction, adverse health effects, and societal challenges. In response, regulatory measures have been implemented to curb its availability and unrestricted access.

“This underscores the importance of addressing this issue as part of broader efforts to safeguard public health and well-being.

“On our part we will continue to partner with the NDLEA and other relevant government agencies to curb the spread of the menace and protect the future generations of Nigerians.”

Prior to this, the Acting Customs boss had restated the NCS determination to curb illicit trade in the country.

Adeniyi declared this while showcasing seizures of some items suspected to be Cannabis Sativa, at Ogun II Area Command of the Service.

The Customs CG emphasised the recent efforts of the Service and unwavering commitment of officers in intercepting cannabis sativa within Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service.

According to the Ag. Comptroller-General, the harmful effects of illicit importation on the youths, such as drugs, cannot be overemphasized, as it poses a significant challenge to public health and safety, as well as socio-economic development.

PAY ATTENTION:  Senate Presidency: Imo North Senator-elect Ndubueze joins race

He said: “Today, we are pleased to announce the recent efforts and unwavering the commitment of our officers in intercepting cannabis sativa within the Nigeria Customs Service, Zone ‘A’.

Details of the seizures include: Seizure of 14,015 parcels of Cannabis Sativa by officers of FOU Zone A, weighting 7,728 Kg, translating to a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N618,240,000 discharged from a boat at the creeks around Ajah and Ijebu-Ode area.

A total of 3 suspects and the items were handed over to NDLEA on August 2, 2023 and are currently undergoing investigations.

The Ag. CGC also revealed that officers of a joint patrol team and sector 2 border drill operatives made similar seizures.

“On Thursday, August 3, 2023, at about 0400hrs, a joint patrol team comprising of officers of Western Marine Command intercepted a wooden boat with 2 Yamaha outboard engines (40 Horsepower), each containing 103 sacks containing 8,240 loaves of substance suspected to be Cannabis Sativa, weighing 3,811KG at a DPV of NGN 32,193,000.

“On Monday, August 7, 2023 at about 0315hrs, credible intelligence led to the Seizure of 2,940 parcels of Cannabis Sativa around Sokoto/Ijoun road, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The items were ingeniously concealed with a heap of pineapple fruits loaded in an unregistered white Fiat bus with chassis number 2FA23000006141966,” he noted.

He disclosed that 2 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.

“Two suspects one, Mr. Akeem Olatunde – a driver and Mr. Abdul Nurudeen Adedeji – A passenger, have been arrested and taken into custody pending further investigation,” he stated.

The operatives NCS, Kebbi State Command, last week intercepted 371 parcels of cannabis sativa.

The Command disclosed that the Indian hemp and other offensive drugs intercepted and seized such as 98 packs of diazepam, 10 sacks of snuff have been handed over to appropriate sister agencies to continue with investigation.

Dr, Ben Oramalugo, Comptroller of Customs, Kebbi Area Command noted during a briefing and the handing over of the seized drugs to operatives of the NDLEA that the focal point of the briefing was on drugs, saying, “it may interest you to know that the drug was valued at N94, 854, 409.

“One suspect was arrested in connection with the smuggling of 50 parcels of cannabis sativa and would be handed over to NDLEA along with the items.

“On a sad note, while we continue to give smugglers of drugs and other harmful items a bloody nose; we unfortunately lost two of our fine and hard-working officers in the line of duty.

“The sad event occurred on August 24, 2023 at about 1.28 am when they were working based on intelligence of impending smuggling of drugs along Bunza- Koko- Dakingari road. May their souls rest in peace.

“This sad incident, although regrettable, will not deter us or dampen the morale of officers and men of the Command. We shall continue to double our effort and work in synergy with all the relevant agencies in order to stem the menace of drugs smuggling in the state,” the Customs boss vowed…..CONTINUE READING