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Customs Ow Ahmed Abubakar Azarema

Customs FOU Owerri ambushes smugglers’ impounds 870 cartons of Tramadol, others

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The an anti-smuggling wing of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’, Owerri, has impounded trailer load of 870 cartons of Tramadol and other related goods with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N379.29 million between March and June.

Explaining the feat during a media chat in his office, the Comptroller, Ahmed Azarewa said the items seized included illicit drugs, bags of rice, used tyres, second hand clothing, and vehicles of different makes confiscated along the Benin- Owerri –Port Harcourt axis.

In a detailed breakdown of confiscated items, Azarewa said that the service confiscated a Mack Truck with 582 cartons of Tramadol, and 258 cartons of Tygracildenafil with a DPA of N21.462 million.

He said the Unit also confiscated a MAN Diesel Truck with 98 cartons of Ibamol drug (50 packs per carton), 22 cartons of 200mg Tramadol, 15 cartons of 225 mg Tramadol and 250 mg (50 packs) of Tramadol worth N11.862 million.

“The NCS also seized an unmarked Mercedes Benz truck with 327 bags of Cannabis Sativa valued at N11.445 million.’’

The Tramadol and cannabis were handed over to NAFDAC and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officials in Benin.

Business Hilights gathered that “other items confiscated by the service include a Lexus ES 350 car, 2007 model valued at N3.318 million, a Mercedes Benz G 500 Bullet Proof, 2001 model with DPV of N60.750 million, Toyota Hilux , 2016 model valued at N18.09 million and Toyota Prado 2015 model with DPV of N23.402 million”.

Also seized include a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 2014 Model worth N33.145 million, Mercedez Benz GLE 350 with DPV of N25.199 million, Brand new Toyota Land Cruiser 2018 with DPV of N37.999 million and Mercedez Benz C350 worth N4.955 million.

Other vehicles impounded include a Toyota Highlander 2013 model worth N13.388 million, Toyota Highlander 2009 Model with DPV of N4.957 million and a Mercedes Benz Truck with 230 cartons of 22kg imported rice.

Azerewa averred that the unit’s patrol team also seized six bales of used clothes worth N10.270 million and other items, explaining that the seized items were mostly concealed in between other items like electronics, gas cylinders, and door handles, while others were seized as a result of wrong declaration.

He said “If you refuse to pay what you are supposed to pay as duty to customs, you are a smuggler,” and enjoined the media to help the service disseminate information on the dangers of smuggling.

Receiving the drugs, Mrs. Esther Itua, the Edo State Coordinator of NAFDAC, commended Customs for the seizure, saying that the illegal use of Tramadol was responsible for certain ailments and eventual death of the user.

She said that the use of Tramadol had remained a cause of concern to the nation and NAFDAC, adding that the strength of the confiscated drugs was far above the maximum dose always recommended.

“This Tramadol is an overdose and is also not registered with NAFDAC,” she said.

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