Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has handed-over 20 cartons of hard drugs to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), in Lagos, today.
The drugs were concealed as sweets in a 40ft container, while the consignee had declared the products as driving shafts and candy sweets.
Speaking at the handover ceremony at Classic Marine Bonded Terminal, Lagos, the Area Controller of Apapa Command, NCS, Comptroller Awaal Mohammed disclosed that the hard drugs were uncovered due to meticulous 100% physical examination carried out by Customs officers.
“Today, what we have here is 20 cartons of illicit drugs consisting of 838,500 tablets of 200mg and 90,010 pieces of capsules of other drugs. I appeal to stakeholders to be patriotic and have the interest of Nigeria at heart. This idea of quick money at the expense of national security should be jettisoned.”
“When the containers were opened, no driving shaft was found and even the alleged candy sweets weren’t in the container. What we have in the container is Gummy Pop which is a different brand of sweet. So, it isn’t the sweet that matter to the importer but the illicit drugs in the container. It is a clear case of false declaration and concealment in an attempt to deceive security agents so that they could smuggle the drugs into the country,” Comptroller Mohammed said.
Noting that investigations are still ongoing following the seizure, the Apapa Area Controller confirmed that the Customs licensed used for the importation has been blocked.
According to Comptroller Mohammed, the address of the licensed agent involved in the consignment was fake, but he assured that the NCS would explore all alternatives to apprehend the culprits including involving Interpol if the perpetuators have already evaded the country.
He, however, expressed worry that proliferation of hard drugs continues to cause more havoc in the country, opining that banditry, kidnappings and armed robbery thrive with use of hard drugs and substances.
Also speaking on receipt of the hard drugs, the NDLEA Commander, Apapa Command, Mr. Udotong Noah Essien expressed delight at the development, even as he assured that NDLEA would continue to partner with Customs to curb all attempts to import drugs through the Apapa port.
“Investigations are still going on and we are partnering with Customs on this. The importer, when arrested will be sentenced to lifetime jail,” Essien said.
He also thanked the Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. MB Marwa (Rtd) OFR, for encouraging the robust collaboration and partnership being carried out buy the agency, stating that notable accomplishments have been attained since his emergence as NDLEA boss.