Nigeria: Customs Uncovers N5 Billion Tramadol, Codeine in Lagos Warehouse

19 August 2019

Lagos — Several individuals are currently undergoing interrogation at the Nigeria Customs Service's Federal Operations Unit (FOU) in Ikeja, Lagos, over their suspected involvement in the importation of N5 billion worth Tramadol and codeine found in a warehouse in Lagos.

An impeccable source said the suspects have made useful statements that are helping investigators unravel the brains behind the importation.

The source said some foreigners have also being fingered in the illegal deal and that the operatives are making efforts to also arrest them.

"We have some persons in our custody and they have made useful statements; they are helping the service to get to the owner of the consignments," the source said.

The service on Saturday said it has intercepted tramadol, codeine and other restricted drugs illegally imported into the country at an unknown warehouse in Lagos.

The interception was made by the Zone A unit of the Comptroller General of Customs strike Force team in Lagos.

Addressing newsmen at the Customs Training College, Ikeja, the National Public Relations Officer of the service, Joseph Attah, a Deputy Comptroller, said the drugs estimated to be loaded in 21 trailers with a street value of over N5 billion were being evacuated for custody, subsequent judicial process and destruction.

Attah said the smugglers were operating on the erroneous beliefs that the festive period is a time of merriment and less vigilance and smugglers of illicit drugs can have a field day and attempted to move their deadly drugs from Lagos to other parts of the country.

Explaining how the drugs were discovered, he said: "On Sunday, August 13, 2019 at about 2am, the operatives of the Headquarters Strike force Zone A intercepted one truck laden with dreaded codeine, tramadol and other controlled pain killers along Maryland, Ikeja.

"This was immediately brought to the attention of the team leader, Deputy Controller of Customs, Usman Yahaya, who deepened preliminary investigation that led to the discovery of a warehouse along Oshodi-Mile 2 road stocked with the dreaded tramadol, codeine and other unregistered pharmaceutical products without NAFDAC numbers."

He disclosed that the warehouse was immediately sealed with a detachment of well-armed officers to guard it.

He hinted that the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, has directed a thorough investigation with a view to bringing all those connected to the drugs to justice. He said evacuation of the drugs to the Federal Operations Unit has commenced.

He said, "You will recall that last month, NCS in collaboration with NAFDAC commenced destruction of over N14 billion worth of seized illicit drugs. This hard stance against smugglers of items that could negatively affect the economy and security of the nation is resolute and will continue till these elements have a change of heart."

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