By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) has on announced the interception of a 20 foot container loaded with 150 Cartons of Tramadol valued at N6 billion, imported from Pakistan.
Briefing the newsmen last Friday on the seizure, the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Yusuf Ibrahim Malanta said the drugs were concealed carefully with towels, yet were detected through the deployment of what he called “Forensic Manifest Management System” and by the vigilance of customs officers.
Giving a breakdown of the seizure while handing it over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Malanta said
“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”
Compt. Yusuf disclosed that one suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure and have also been handed over to the NDLEA for further interrogation and investigation.
According to him, the seizure is to further strengthen the existing relationship between the Nigeria Customs Service, the NDLEA and other relevant government agencies operating in the port.
“The fight against illicit drug abuse and trafficking is everyone’s business and the Nigeria Customs Service is all out to support the NDLEA in combating this ugly menace decisively.
We have just started, we would make sure that all these illicit drugs have no place in Apapa command” he said
He attributed the seizure to being consistent and focused, saying that organisational interest should superceed personal interests.
“The drugs were concealed with towels, and the true content of the container was not declared.
However, the customs deployed what he called “Forensic Manifest Management System” to bring out the contents of the container” he said
Receiving the container, Mr Ameh Inalegwu, Apapa Commander of NDLEA disclosed that the Chairman of NDLEA, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (Rtd) has expressed great pride in the Apapa customs boss, Compt Yusuf Malanta.
“I want to appreciate the synergy between the Apapa customs command and the NDLEA, just about a month ago, we had this kind of handing over whereby two containers were handed over to us, this is the Apapa spirit, my Chairman is very appreciative and he is ready to project and commend any officer of the security agencies that would partner with the NDLEA.
“I want to commend the Area Controller and my Chairman is very proud of you, when I heard the opportunity to put the records before him, he assured me of the length he would go to recommend you and I am sure it is on the way, if it has not come” Inalegwu stated
According to him, “The legally accepted milligram for tramadol is 50mg, but here we have five of that in one, under the influence of this drug, everybody is vulnerable.
“A carton of the tramadol is not less than N20 million, while the entre drug is worth more than N6 billion
Compt Yusuf Malanta (3rd from right) in a group photograph with senior officials of customs, NDLEA, and DSS at the handing over
“The agency is going to the court to get permit in order to destroy the drugs, in the next one month, my Chairman would be in Lagos to destroy exhibits”, he stated.
The NDLEA counterparts from American DEA, Canada and the United Kingdom were also on ground to witness the handing over of the drug seizure.
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