About 55 cartons of tramadol were smuggled into the Apapa port by the Nigeria Customs Service’s Apapa Area Command while they were camouflaged inside food containers.
According to the Command “Drugs containing omeprazole that were imported into the Nation without a NAFDAC registration number were also seized.
“On Thursday, Controller of the Command, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta, spoke with press about the tramadol that had been confiscated. He said the medicines, which were priced at N1.275 billion, were imported from India.
He claimed that although the container with the identification number SUDU -7538656 was declared to contain culinary appliances, tramadol was later found inside after a physical inspection.
“On July 21, 2022, our officers at the APM Terminals successfully intercepted a 1x20ft container with No. SUDU-7538656 manifested as 272 cartons of stainless-steel hotpot after acting on reliable intelligence.
In order to avoid being arrested, it was captured or declared as culinary appliances, measuring/checking tools, and furnace burners.
He stated, “The abovementioned container was located, opened, and jointly examined with competent agencies and determined to contain 55 cartons of tramadol concealed in food flasks.”
“Each carton of tramadol contains 50 rolls, each roll contains 10 packs, and each pack contains 10 sachets, the head of customs said.
According to Sections 46 and 47 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, he explained, the container was impounded.
“This is an importation that was declared as a medicament but it has no NAFDAC stamp and since there is no NAFDAC registration, it is considered to be an illicit importation and as a result, the dosage and the composition may not be fit for human consumption,” the head of customs said in reference to the omeprazole drugs that were seized.
Comptroller Malanta reaffirmed the command’s resolve to ensure that importation of illicit narcotics is discovered and seized while urging all participants in the trade supply chain to always adhere by the current laws.
To protect the economy and security of the country, he said, “I would like to remind importers and their agents to familiarize themselves with import/export prohibition rules.”
He also took advantage of the occasion to reiterate the coordination and cooperation between Customs and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), stating that they constantly exchange information to help fight the entry of illegal narcotics and other associated offenses at the port.
“We always share information with NDLEA in cooperation. Customs is the main organization tackling this disgusting threat. Every official agency in the port is on high alert to make sure that illegal importation, particularly the importation of drugs, is completely eliminated.