Customs in Onne port intercepts N3.7B tramadol concealed in cartons of ceramic tiles
The Nigeria Customs Service, Area ll Command, Onne Port in Rivers State, has uncovered 1387 cartons of prohibited tramadol tablets with duty paid value (DPV)of N3,719,983,463 concealed in 1000 cartons of ceramic tiles.
Spokesperson for the Command, Ifeoma Ojukwu, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, added that the tiles with DPV of N10,743,325, used in concealing the illicit drug were also seized.
Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, Auwal Mohammed, told newsmen intelligence from international security network made it possible to intercept the illicit goods loaded in a 40ft container with no: MRKU0764717, and transferred to the Government Warehouse for 100% physical examination.
He said: “We are always ready to conduct 100 percent examination. We will not be pushed to do anything in a hurry as the clearance procedure is well explained.
“Hundred percent examinations is one of the key aspects of the clearance procedure in Nigeria. Therefore, all importers should know that making unclear or false electronic declaration does not mean they will have an easy way out with their consignment.”
The CAC insisted that “Every container that arrive Onne Port must be subjected to 100 percent examination after relevant duties and charges have been paid and necessary procedures followed. But no compromise to examination and all cargoes must be examined. And this is one of the results you are seeing here.
“Ordinarily, you can see that the same carton used to package the ceramic tiles is what was used to package the tramadol 120mg capsules.
“So if you are just doing ordinary surface examination, you will assume that the whole container is laden with ceramic tiles.
“But because of the meticulous way we conduct our examination, we are able to separate between the items used for concealment; which is the ceramic tiles and the actual intent, cargo or consignment being imported” Mohammed said
The drugs were packed in 120mg capsule, 20 satchet per pack, 18 packs in a carton.
The CAC reiterated that no consignment would be released from Onne Port without the due diligence of 100 per cent physical examination.
While investigations are on, the CAC assured that the importer, agent and their collaborator would be prosecuted in competent court of law.
He assured that customs officers under his watch would continue to abide by the law and shun any form of compromise.