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Customs intercepts N78m codeine, 9 containers of wood in Apapa Port

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Apapa Command, has announced that it intercepted a container of unregistered pharmaceutical product (codeine syrup and col caps) with duty paid value of  over N78.7 million (Seventy-eight million, five hundred thousand Naira).

Spokesman of the Command, Abubakar Usman, said in a statement that the command also seized nine containers of unprocessed and semi- processed wood at the point of loading into a vessel.

The seized codeine in cartons

The Customs Area Controller of the Command, Yusuf Malanta, giving a breakdown of the value of the seized wood, said they were worth over worth N70.5 million (over seventy million, five hundred thousand Naira).

Comptroller Yusuf attributed the success of the command to inter-agency synergies between customs and sister organisations like the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

He said the collaboration with NDLEA had helped in gathering intelligence, leading to seizures of prohibited items as the command acts swiftly on reliable information without waiting for importers to come forward before effecting examination on suspected cargoes.

He said efforts at making Apapa Port a ‘no-go’ area for unlawful trade will always be sustained, while ensuring that maximum revenue is collected into government coffers from all legitimate transactions.

While arrests are yet to be made, the CAC said investigations were ongoing by the Nigeria Customs Service and NDLEA to detect, arrest and prosecute perpetrators of the illegal importation

Yusuf reiterated the Command’s commitment to surpassing its revenue collection of N870 billion (Eight hundred and seventy billion) in 2021.

He said a total of N95.3 billion was collected in January 2022, which surpassed the N54.3 billion collected in January 2021 by N39 billion

The Comptroller said the seized timber and rock balsam, under HS Code 44011000 to 44039000, contravene Sections 63 and 64 of the Export Trade (improper exportation of items).

He vowed to make recalcitrant traders face the law, while ensuring that exportation of prohibited items are not allowed to pass through Apapa port.

Another container number TCKU 6800526 which was laden with 702 cartons of codeine syrup (each carton contains 200 pieces) and 347 cartons of Col caps (each carton contains 2,000 pieces) was also seized by the command, with a street value of over ₦78.7 million.

Controller Yusuf further commended officers and men of the command for not relenting in discharging their official responsibilities.

On his part, the NDLEA Commander in Apapa Port, Samuel Gadzama, promised stronger synergy with the Customs Service to prevent such importation.

He also said that upon due diligence through a court process, the seized drugs would be publicly destroyed in line with extant laws.

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