Apapa Customs uses forensic technique to uncover N223.2m tramadol at seaport
* Says tramadol conceals with ceramic tiles
(Written by Silas Onuoha):
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service,
Comptroller Yusuf Malanta and his management team deserve commendation for their hard work and resilience.
Yesterday, the team displayed huge seizures of 554 cartons of tramadol capsules, worth over N223.2 million in Duty Paid Value (DPV); 40ft container loaded with sacks of mosquito coil products but falsely declared as ground paper and packaging paper bag; seven containers loaded with bales of used clothing; shoes and one container of unregistered pharmaceutical product (989) cartons of mixagrip tabs, wrongfully declared as Winches and gaskets.
Addressing Journalists yesterday, Comptroller Malanta disclosed that the tramadol capsules were concealed with 1000 cartons of ceramic tiles and falsely declared by the consignee.
The CAC said that his officers used forensic management technique to uncover the tramadol concealed in the container.
“At this point, it is worthy to mention that the consignments are outrightly seized for breaching the provisions of sections 46, 47 and 161 of CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004, and provisions of schedule 4 (17) of the Common External Tariff.”
He went on, “Based on the foregoing, the Command has launched a preliminary investigation, with a view to identifying the consignee for arrest and possible prosecution, in connection with this criminal and unlawful importation.
He asserted, “I am using this medium to assure members of the business community that the Command would increase sensitisation, enlightenment and robust stakeholders engagement for seamless operations, with a view to educating the public on the harmful and destructive nature of these illegal importations
“Apapa Command under my watch would not tolerate such kind of unlawful behaviour from any importer or declarant.”
According to the CAC, through Intelligence the container was traced from India to port of Lome, Togo before it was shipped to Apapa seaport, where his vigilant officers. intercepted.
The Apapa Customs Boss, advised traders to always ensure accurate declaration, in order to enhance seamless cargo clearance and trade facilitation in the maritime sector.