Operatives of the Seme Area Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) have intercepted large consignment of suspected adulterated pharmaceutical drugs smuggled into the country through the land border.
The drugs included 1076 bottles of 100ml Morphin sulfate; 94 bottles of 60ml Amadiaquine suspension; 2,970 packages of 500mg Vermox; 390 packets by 1,000 tablets of 100mg Mepacrine tablets; 298 packets of 100mg Clofenac SR, 1,485 packages of 50mg Losartail Potassium and 499 packages of 400mg Virest 400 Aciclovir tablets.
Parading the suspects and recovered items today, Seme Area Controller, Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni, said the unregistered pharmaceuticals have a Duty Paid Value of N27,861,538.
He said the consignment was intercepted on May 9, along the Abidjan Lagos Corridor (ALCO), around 8:30am, during stop and search operation.
He said the drugs were concealed in a truck with registration number GL6663, belonging to a major conglomerate.
He said preliminary investigation revealed that the drugs were headed to Kaduna, through Abuja, noting the nexus between illicit drugs and violent crimes.
“It is of concern to us. Also recall that upon my assumption of duty here, we seized some fake US dollars currency and shortly after that, we also seized some fake International Passports of various countries. Now, we have seized these drugs.
“There could be a link. It is left for us to continue our investigation in collaboration with other security agencies, the outcome of which we will share with you, with approval.
“But I think there is always a link illegal drug importation and financing of insurgency,” said Nnadi.
Giving details on the latest seizure, he said: “These drugs bear the name of companies that already have license to operate in Nigeria. Even if they are found to be genuine from the place they are coming from, the fact that the bear the name and brand of company already licenced in the country makes it an Intellectual property contravention.
“This seizure contravened both Nigeria Customs Service banning the importation of pharmaceutical products through land border without approval, and NAFDAC laws as they do not have NAFDAC registration numbers.
“Further more, 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 to illicit use to aid criminals,” said Nnadi.
Reiterating the agency’s commitment to fight smuggling under any guise, the Controller warned those trying its resolve to desist or they would meet their waterloo.
Meanwhile, the command also handed over 553 parcels of Cannabis Sativa, seized on April 21, during routine patrol to the Seme Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Abubakar Wada.
He said the illicit substance was intercepted in a Ford Bus, adding that the parcels were packed in seven large bags, adding that four suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.
The Controller said the Cannabis and two of the suspects were handed over to NDLEA in line with directives from the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.).
“Two other suspects had earlier been handed over to sister security agency for necessary action. We remain resolute at ensuring adequate surveillance of our borders.