Customs, NAFDAC destroy 58 containers of smuggled drugs worth over N14bn



The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has destroyed about 58 containers of banned Tramadol and other illicit drugs worth N14.7 billion intercepted by its operatives at various Customs formation in Lagos, and other parts of the country.

Speaking at the destruction exercise at the Sagamu dumpsite, Ogun State, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, condemned the activities of smugglers who import banned drugs and other harmful substances into Nigeria.
  
Ali, who was represented by the Assistant Comptroller-General in charge of Zone ‘A’,  Kaycee Ekekezie, decried the harm the seized drugs would have caused if allowed into circulation, noting that such monies could have been channeled into other productive activities are now wasted.

“People should never see smuggling as a trade; it is a crime. The menace of such drugs in our society cannot be underestimated, having caused a huge negative impact both on our economy as a whole and the depreciation and danger to human life,” he said.
  
Ali, while appealing to Nigerians to join hands with the Service to fight the menace of drug abuse, urged importers to take advantage of the Customs portal, to ascertain the status of what they want to import to guide against the importation of restricted items into the country.
  
The destruction was jointly carried out by the NCS, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and other related agencies.
  
Chairman of the joint committee, Assistant Comptroller-General (ACG), in charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Aminu Dahiru, noted that most of the violent crimes like robbery, kidnapping, banditry, and other associated crimes are linked to the consumption of illicit drugs.

He said similar destruction would be carried out in other Customs Zones in Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Bauchi.

“These drugs to be destroyed here today constitute just a meager number among the numerous seizures already handed over to NAFDAC and NDLEA for destruction in the past. These quantities of seizures recorded by officers have not been without some cost on a series of threats, attacks, maiming and even killing of officers.
  
“Even as we are here, some of our anti-smuggling officers have been receiving threats for their exploits. Smugglers of these drugs are unhappy because we stopped them from making money through destruction of lives,” he said.
  
Director, Registration & Regulatory Affairs of NAFDAC, Monica Eimunjeze, commended the Customs effort in preventing the smuggling of hard drugs into Nigeria even as she advocated collaboration between security agencies and the public to rid the society of hard drugs.
  
She explained that the approved milligram for Tramadol is 50mg and 100mg while higher milligrams of above 100 are prohibited.
  
“We have something to do in controlling the use of this Tramadol in our society. See billions of Naira going down the drain, money that would have been used to build our country. This event today speaks to our hearts, and we say no to bringing of hard drugs; we say no to the importation of substandard drugs, and we say no to destroyed society,” she said.
Guardian.