On Friday, the Nigeria Customs Service’s Apapa command announced the seizure of a 20-foot container from Pakistan that was carrying 150 cartons of tramadol, valued at nearly N6 billion on the black market.
While displaying the seizure, Comptroller Yusuf Ibrahim Malanta, the Customs Area Controller for Apapa, stated that the drugs were securely wrapped with towels, but were only detected thanks to officers’ keen eyes and the use of a tool he referred to as the “Forensic Manifest Management System.”
When delivering the container to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Comptroller MI Yusuf provided a breakdown of the seizure, saying: “On the authority of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), I, Comptroller MI Yusuf, Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command do hereby handover 1x20ft container No. PCIU 0183241 laden with eighty-one (81) cartons of 250mg and sixty-nine (69) cartons of 225mg of tramadol tablets (Each carton contains 72 rolls, each roll contains 10 packs, each pack contains 10 sachets, and each sachet contains 10 tablets) totaling 150 cartons of tramadol tablets to the Commander of Narcotics, Commander Ameh Inalegwu, Apapa Special Area Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further agency action”
One suspect was detained in connection with the seizure, according to Comptroller Yusuf Ibrahim, and has also been turned over to the NDLEA for additional questioning and investigation.
NDLEA, the Nigeria Customs Service, and other pertinent government agencies operating in the port, in Yusuf’s opinion, will benefit from the seizure by having their already strong connection strengthened.
“The fight against illegal drug misuse and trafficking is everyone’s concern, and the Nigeria Customs Service is doing everything in its power to assist the NDLEA in effectively eradicating this obnoxious menace.
We just got begun, but we’ll make sure that none of these illegal substances are allowed in Apapa command, he said.
He claimed that his seizure was the result of his consistency and focus, adding that organizational interest should take precedence over individual interest.
“The medicines were covered up with towels, and the container’s actual contents were not disclosed. However, he claimed that customs used a “Forensic Manifest Management System” to extract the container’s contents.
When accepting the container, Commander of Narcotics and Apapa NDLEA Commander, Mr. Inalegwu Ameh, revealed that Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Ret. ), Chairman of NDLEA, had expressed great delight in Comptroller Yusuf Malanta, Apapa Customs.
“I want to acknowledge the cooperation between the Apapa customs command and the NDLEA. A little over a month ago, we had this sort of handing over in which two containers were given to us. This exemplifies the Apapa spirit, and my Chairman is very appreciative and willing to project and commend any officer of the security agencies that would cooperate with the NDLEA.
Inalegwu said, “I want to congratulate the Area Controller and say that my Chairman is extremely proud of you. When I heard the opportunity to present the records before him, he promised me of the length he would go to recommend you and I am confident it is on the way, if it hasn’t come.
Ameh claims that “under the effect of this narcotic, everyone is vulnerable. The legally accepted dose for tramadol is 50mg, but here we have five of that in one.
“A carton of tramadol costs at least N20 million, and the total cost of the medicine exceeds N6 billion.”
“My Chairman will travel to Lagos in the upcoming month to destroy exhibits. The agency is going to the court to obtain a permit so that we can destroy the drugs.
The drug seizure was turned over in front of the NDLEA equivalents from the American DEA, Canada, and the United Kingdom.