By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Murtala Muhammed Airport command on Tuesday handed over 679 sets of drones and 638 packets of military wares which it intercepted to the Nigerian Army in Lagos.
The Command also intercepted different brands of illicit pharmaceutical products which it handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the National Agency got Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The value of the drones and military wares were put at N379million, the value of the illicit pharmaceuticals were put at N2.824billion.
The illicit drugs were said to have been imported into the country from India, Hong Kong, and Dubai and bearing different waybills and different names.
Owners of the seized items are currently on the run, as efforts are on to apprehend owners of the illicit drugs as well as the drones and military wares.
Briefing the media in lagos during a handover of the wares to the chief of Army staff, Comptroller Sambo Dangaladima said the Drones and other military hardwares/uniforms were seized because they are the exclusives of the military to import such items.
Dangaladima said in line with the set target, officers of the command worked assiduously round the clock and in synergy to tackle proliferation of arms and ammunition and military wares which, according to him, is against the internal security of the country.
“We are handing over a total of 679 sets of drones and 638 packets of various military wares valued at N379,203,818.00 to the Nigerian Army, 108 packets of tramadol (225mg) containing 4,492,650 tablets, valued at N2,823,950,000 and 78 packets of dry khat N376,125,000.00 to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
We are also handing over 54 packets of various types of non-compliant pharmaceutical products, valued at N310,240,458.00 to the National Agency got Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in accordance with the extant laws that govern the agencies and their responsibilities and interdepartmental cooperation.
“While Dry Khat is totally prohibited, the non-compliant pharmaceutical products were seized because they are suspected to be fake drugs without NAFDAC registration/approval certificates.
“These items were imported with various Air Wale Bills (AWBs) at different dates/period from different ports of origin, enroute different ports to Lagos as final destination. We have on record 34 AWBS of Tramadol that are from India as port of Origin, 17 of them came into Lagos enroute Addis-Ababa. One came in enroute Hong Kong while the rest came from Addis-Ababa to Lagos as final destination” he added.
Dangaladima further revealed that the non-compliant pharmaceuticals are from Pakistan but that they came into Lagos enroute Dubai and Addis-Ababa.
The Chief of Staff, 81 Division of the Nigerian Army in charge of Lagos and Ogun State, Brig-Gen. Danlami Ndahi, who received the drones and military wares on behalf of the Nigerian Army stated that the importers of the items are enemies of the nation.
He said the proliferation of arms by criminals was becoming worrisome, noting that it is currently difficult to identify real soldiers from fake.
Other agencies who were on ground to receive the seized items are representatives of NDLEA and NAFDAC
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