May 21, 2024

TinCan Customs Intercepts Illicit Drug Worth Over N550m

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TinCan Customs Intercepts Illicit Drug Worth Over N550m

By Okezie Nnadi


The Nigeria Customs Service, Tincan Island Command has Intercpeted hard, illicit and concealed drugs valued at N550,265,669 only.
Briefing the press today, Monday at Tincan Island, the Command’s Area Controller, CAC Adekunle Oloyede said the Command received a timely intelligence from the Command’s Customs Intelligence Unit on the suspected importation of illicit dangerous drugs (unregistered regulated pharmaceutical products) concealed in two 2 by 40ft containers with Bill of lading Nos 227578945 and 227898171. Upon the arrival of the vessel at Tincan Island Container Terminal (TICT), the containers (MRSU 592397 /0 and MRKU 553432/1) were transferred immediately to the Enforcement Station for 100% physical examination and further investigation.

When physical examination was conducted on both containers by Enforcement Officers, Customs Intelligence Operatives, Customs Police and Examination officers of the Terminal on Tuesday, 22 August 2023 at about 14:00hours and Wednesday, 23 August 2023 at about 13:00hours,
It was then discovered that
Container No MRSU_592397/0: The details on the Bill of Lading with No 227578945 stated the items laden were 1,016 packages containing Electrical Goods Ceiling Fan 36 Jewel (Cooper) and Chilly Cutters (Stainless Steel + Plastic) but after examination, the container was found to contain:
5 cartons of Timaking 120 Tapentadol (Tramadol) Hydrochloride Carisoprodol capsule. Each carton contains 50 rolls, each rolls contains 5 packets, each packet 200 tablets.

84cartons of Gastro Resistant Omeprazole capsule BP 200mg. Each carton contains 50 packets, each packet contains 10 capsules.

876 cartons of CSMIX cough syrup containing Codeine (each bottle 100m)). Each carton contains 200 bottles.

50 cartons of Manual Grater Machine ~ 70 pieces per carton as means of concealment
1 carton of Ceiling Fan as a means of concealment.

The Area Comptroller informed that
2 suspects have been arrested and are presently at the custody of the Enforcement Unit in accordance with the investigation process of the Service. Adding that 1 of suspects in custody, Mr. Boniface Ike accepted that he is the owner (Importer) of the two containers and sought to discuss privately with OC Enforcement DC GI Aliyu and Team Manager CIU AC H Abubakar.

“I instructed my officers to play along, the request was granted in expectation of receiving vital information from the suspect but to their bewilderment, the suspect pleaded for his freedom from detention and release of the containers while offering gratification to the tune of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira only) (as displayed) equivalent to $54,330 (Fifty-Four Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty Dollars only) at the current exchange rate of N920. The money was collected and kept in safe custody
at the Enforcement Unit to be tendered as exhibit.

He reiterated that the Nigeria Customs Service will not be a part nefarious acts
which will jeopardize the safety and lives of the citizens of our dear country, Nigeria, any fraudulent importer or agent who tries
to perpetrate such acts will be prosecuted accordingly.

“The suspects, containers and the exhibit will be handed over to the Agencies that are in charge of regulation of such importation as soon as the Service directs and the Service may decide to prosecute according to the Service Act, of the Nigeria Customs Service
Act (2023),” he said.

In the same vein, another routine examination carried out at Tincan Island Container Terminal on Container No. TTNU 804678/9 with declaration lodged on SGD CNo: 70754 of 24/08/2023, the Container was found to contain Frozen Poultry Products. The Single Goods Declaration (SGD) other supporting documents (Form M and PAAR) stated Tangerines which was used to conceal the frozen poultry products actually imported. The goods were falsely declared as they are Import Prohibition (Trade), the Container has been seized for the contravention of Section 233 of the Nigeria Customs
Service Act (2023).

Compt. Oloyede also stated that the persistent fraudulent nature of Importers and Agents drives Customs officers to be more innovative in putting methods and measures to combat smuggling activities, ensure no leakage of revenue to the Government and safety of Nigerians.
all information on the said containers has been forwarded to the Customs
Headquarters, Abuja.

He vowed that the Tincan Customs Command under his watch will deploy all necessary resources and strategies at its disposal and in collaboration with other security and regulatory Agencies to check the menace of illegal importation of illicit and unregulated dangerous drugs and substances.

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