By Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Seme Area Command said it had seized N27.9 million worth of unregistered expired drugs smuggled into Nigeria.
The Controller of the Seme Command, Compt. Dera Nnadi, told newsmen that the unregistered drugs were found in a truck with registration number GL 6663 GH belonging to one of the major companies operating in Nigeria.
He disclosed that, during the inspection of the truck, unregistered drugs were found such as MORPHINE SULFATE 100ml x 1076 bottles; AMODIAQUINE SUSPENSION 60ml x 94 bottles; VERMOX 500mg x 2970 packages x 1 sachet x 1 tablet.
Others include MEPACRINE TABLETS 100mg x 390 packets x 1000 tablets; CLOFENAC SR 100mg x 298 packets x 10 sachets x 10 tablets; LOSARTAIL POTASSIUM 50mg x 1485 packages x 2 sachets x 28 tablets and VIREST 400 ACICLOVIR tablets. B.P 400mg x 499 packages x 5 sachets x 5 tablets.
Compt. Nnadi disclosed that the command also seized 553 parcels of cannabis sativa and handed them over to the officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA).
Comptroller Nnadi further reinforced his earlier pledge to adopt new strategies that would boost trade while enforcing the nation’s anti-smuggling laws along Abidjan-Lagos Corridor (ALCO) in line with the ECOWAS protocols on the free movement of goods and persons.
According to the Controller, “this seizure contravened both Nigeria Customs Service banning the importation of pharmaceutical products through the land border without approval and further contravening NAFDAC laws as they do not have NAFDAC registration numbers. Furthermore, 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 derivative of opium. This drug can be deployed for illicit use to aid criminals.”
Nnadi reiterated the commitment to fight smuggling under any guise, saying “those trying our resolve will continue to meet their water-loo as we remain resolute at ensuring adequate surveillance of our borders.
“While we draw your attention to this development, recall that, on the 21st of April, 2023, the officer of the Command on a routine patrol along the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor intercepted a Ford Bus conveying 7 large sacks containing 553 parcels and four suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.
“In line with the dictates of the Nigeria Customs Service in the promotion of inter-agency collaboration and synergy, the CGC Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali Rtd directed that the seized items and two (2) suspects should be handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation.”
He informed that two suspects arrested in connection with the cannabis sativa were also handed over to NDLEA for necessary action.