Hard time awaits smugglers at Seme as Comptroller Uba takes over
.Intercepts N1.1bn Codeine Cough syrup
.Arrests 8 suspects
By Silas Onuoha
Obviously, hard times awaits smugglers still operating at Seme border, as Comptroller Mohammed Uba, the out-going Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Lagos, takes over Seme Command.
Comptroller Uba, who has recorded outstanding performance in the history of FOU Zone ‘A’ said smugglers who sabotage government’s effort at growing the economy would not know peace at Seme.
In his farewell press briefing, Comptroller Uba handed over the Unit with over N2billion seizures recorded in just two weeks of operations, even as he commended CGC Ali Hameed on Customs reforms.
His assertion, “Notably among the seizures was a MAN Diesel Truck with registration number XB 286 BEN intercepted along Afromedia Estate by Egbeda Junction, beside Alaba International carrying 2,748 cartons of DSP Codeine Cough Syrup 100mg (100 per carton) and 95 Cartons of Chaka pain Xtra based on information.
“This is the second time in a row the Unit intercepted this substance since the Federal Government banned importation of Cough Syrup that contains codeine. The substance is valued at over N11billion.
“The driver of the truck on sighting our officers abandoned the truck and fled. Also 49 cartons of tramadol capsules (100mg) were evacuated from a warehouse at Ajao Estate, based on information. The drugs would be handed over to NAFDAC for further investigation.”
“Similarly and more remarkably among the seizures was evacuation of 21 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 1,031kg and 4 pieces of elephant tusk weighing 29.35kg from a shop located at Tejuosho market, in Victoria Island, also based on information by Warehouse Operation team, led by AC Mutalib Sule. The occupant of the shop fled. He is still at large but investigation is already on-going towards getting the culprit arrested and prosecuted. The seized endangered species have a DPV of N253,566,056.7.
“You would recall that the Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Usman Jibril accompanied by the CITES Delegates from UN visited FOU zone ‘A’, inspected the previous seizure of such endangered species this year and even commended us for a job well done. The trade on such endangered species is globally prohibited, hence the need for us to fight against such illegality, so that such endangered species do not go into extinction.
“Also within the weeks under review, the Unit intercepted one Ford Transit Bus with Engine number. XL32452L along Olorunda axis of Ogun State conveying 39 sacks, 1,220 parcels of Cannabis Sativa popularly known as Indian Hemp, weighing 1,610kg, concealed with baskets of fresh Tomato, pepper and vegetables. In the spirit of inter-agency relationship, the seized substance would be handed over to NDLEA for further investigation.
“Other seized items include 17 exotic vehicles with DPV of N384.2million, 1,380 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 1,126 pieces of used shoes, 140 jerrycans of vegetable oil, among others”.
Also, the Unit arrested eight suspects in connection with the 25 seizures.
Business Update learnt that the Unit under the leadership of Comptroller Uba received four commendation letters from CGC Ali for excellent performance.