Seme Customs Command destroys N168.4million drugs, expired food
*Arrests 5 suspects
By Silas Onuoha:
The Seme Border Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), is giving smugglers a tough time at the border community between Nigeria and Benin Republic.
This is evident in the massive seizures made by the Command, especially hard drugs and expired food items, which were destroyed today, in the presence of News men and other security agencies.
Addressing observers during drestruction of the items, the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Cheidi Wada, disclosed that the seized items worth over N168.4million.
His assertions, “It is my pleasure to welcome you to witness this destruction exercise of seized and expired goods. You are all aware of our commitment to rid the country of illicit activities of smugglers and its impact on the nation’s economy, especially smuggling of illicit drugs that poses great danger to the health of our youth.
”In carrying out our statutory functions,
we remain resolute and determined to reduce this menace to the barest minimum”.
The CAC went on, “A total of 127 expired items, mostly medicaments were intercepted at various instances, worth over N168.4million.
“The items include medicaments of different brands and grams (455,185 cards of tablets);
Syrups of different brands and milligrams(over 50, 000ml);
Chinese bottle water beverages (5,664 bottle);
Expired viju drink (144packs);
Waste animal hair 157 sacks;
Expired diapers 493 sacks;
Hydrogen peroxide solution 14,400ml;
Nylon monofilament 4, 120 packs;
Hydrocortizole injection 558pcs;
Apetamine syrup 147, 000ml;
Expired refined sugar 10 cartons;
Tramadol 50mg (84, 500CAPS) X 50mg =4, 225,500mg;
Expired brown sugar 4packets, among others.
“The destruction is in line with the directives of CGC Hameed Ali, that all government warehouses across Customs formations should be cleared, cleaned and made hygienic to accommodate more seizures.
“The above mentioned items after condemnation by the Court of law and certified by National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), not fit for human consumption are destroyed according to the laws.
“Permit me to remind you that the following sections of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 empowers Customs to seize, condemn and destroy goods. For instance,
Section 167 of the third schedule no.15b grants the powers to destruction, which forms the basis of today exercise.
“Section 46 talks about forfeiture, hence seized items are condemned and forfeited to the Federal Government by Courts of competent jurisdiction, after investigations are completed.
“As directed, perishable items and other consumables are given as palliatives, if they are certified fit for human consumption or otherwise destroyed.
“Section 47 covers penalty for offenders, which may include persecution even after the offending items have been seized,
“Section 164 empowers NCS to seize goods with intention to evade Customs duty.”
He enthused, “To this end, I appreciate the support and encouragement of CGC and his management team. The confidence reposed on us will not be regretted under any guise. We will continue to implement government policies in the best interest of the public”.
He commended,. “I thank all sister security agencies, our stakeholders and the host community for their unflinching support, without which our numerous achievements would not have been possible”.
In the same vein, the CAC further highlighted anti-smuggling achievements of the Command in the last two months.
His words, “The officers and men of the Command had in their various operations taken full advantage of our renewed strategies to continue the fight against the daredevil smugglers, with a view to nipping their nefarious activities on the bud.
“Despite the lockdown order by government to curtail spread of Covid-19 Pandemic, some unpatriotic Nigerians still continued with their evil act of smuggling, but with our renewed strategies, we are able to sustain cracks on them.
” The result is arrest of these spectacular seizures, notable ones among them are as follow; Mercedes Benz C300, Mercedes Benz GLK 350, Mercedes Benz GLK 350 4matic, Toyota Highlander 2013 Model.
Other seizures made within the same period under review, April 17, 2020 till date include
695 bags of rice(50kg each);
54, 275litres of Premium Motor Spirit ( PMS);
327 cartons of fronzen poultry products;
36 Units of used vehicles and means of conveyance;
111 Parcels of cannabis sativa and
996 General Merchandise goods.
“Therefore, 213 interceptions were made, with total Duty Paid Value ( DPV), of over N163.4million. Five suspects were arrested during the period under review, of which some were released on administrative bails while others were handed over to NDLEA for further investigations.
“All actions are in line with extant laws of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP45 Law of the Federation of Nigeria(LFN)2004, that empowers NCS to seize goods when false declaration is made. Section 161 empowers NCS to seize these items. Also, when a document is counterfeiting, section 162 empowers NCS to seize the items accordingly.
“To this end, I appeal to the public to embrace legitimate means of livelihood and to avoid smuggling of hazardous items to the country. Customs will continue to actualise sustainable campaigns and strict enforcement of government fiscal policies, with a view to protecting the nation”.