Apapa Customs Intercepts 20 Cartons of N1.5bn Tramadol, Out for Fleeing Importer , Agent

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Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, CAC Apapa Command of the Customs (right) , signing the document for the handover of the seized N1.5 billion Tramadol by the Command to Mr Udotong Noah Essien, the Commander of Narcotic of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA), Apapa Special Command in Lagos , yesterday.

By Shola Fadeyi

Sequel to its interception of 20 cartons of Tramadol , which street value is about N1.560.billion , at the Clarion Bonded Terminal, Lagos by  the Apapa Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) , the Area  Controller, Comptroller Auwal  hammed has pledged to spread a dragnet  to catch the importer, and the agent  , connected with  the hard drug ,who have  been on the run.

The Controller , however handed over the  seized drug to Mr Udotong Noah Essien, the Commander of Nacortics of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA), Apapa Special Command, yesterday , emphasizing  that the  importer  and the agent could not be traced to their addresses which he said were fake.

Comptroller Mohammed disclosed that the seizure comprises 120 mg and 225 mg of Trapaking  tablets  , a new brand of the prohibited  Tramadol, .adding that the  consignee concealed the drug in a jumbled mass of gummy sweets, which he falsely declared as driving shaft and candy sweets.

He  stated that it took the tenacity and non-compromising stance of customs officers to uncover the hard drugs, through a 100% physical examination, promising  to make Apapa port unconducive for  the importation of illicit drugs and their traffickers. He vowed  to bring to bear the full weight of the law on the perpetrators.

Comptroller Mohammed disclosed that the TIN number of the importer and the customs license of his agent have both been blocked but lamented that both of them gave fake addresses which make it difficult for them to be traced.

He said  that the Customs, in collaboration with the NDLEA and other security agencies, will hunt down the fleeing suspects wherever they may be adding that they will be  caught, even if they fled the country with the aid of INTERPOL.

According to him, the  consignment was  imported  from India, but was intercepted through intelligence and collaborative efforts of Customs officers and other sister security agencies.

The Controller stated that the  Customs operatives trailed the illicit cargo since it came into the port on July 3rd, 2022 ,as the importer, who initially abandoned it, was buying time and delaying its declaration in order to throw off the officers from its trail.

Mr Essien, the NDLEA representative , appreciated  the efforts of the Apapa Customs Command for the successes so far recorded in the war against the importation of illicit drugs, through the port corridor and lauded  the collaboration between the two agencies, which he said has yielded tremendous results in curtailing the importation of drugs into the country.

The NDLEA commander promised that the agency will hunt down the fleeing suspects with the collaboration of the Customs and other relevant security agencies, adding that the agency has spread its dragnet all around the country and that the suspects cannot escape.