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HomeBusinessNigeria Customs, Western Marine Command Lagos seizes N1.26 bln contraband

Nigeria Customs, Western Marine Command Lagos seizes N1.26 bln contraband

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Western Marine Command Lagos, have seized contraband comprising of hard drugs, foreign rice, and petrol, among others, worth N1.26 billion.

The Acting Customs Area Controller, Western Marine Command, Enonche Ochiba, a Deputy Controller who disclosed this at a media briefing at Ibafon, Apapa, Lagos, on Friday, said that the anti-smuggling feat was recorded between July and September 2021.

He said upon his assumption of office on July 5th 2021, he re-organized the anti-smuggling activities of the Officers/Men of the Command thereby consolidating on the successes of his predecessor in line with the policy thrust of the Comptroller-General of Customs and created a new team code named “Controller surveillance/Monitoring Patrol Team.”

This, he said, was created to complement the efforts of our existing patrol teams cut across South Western waterways, which led to the successes recorded.

Ochiba said that Officers and Men of the Coastal and Harbour Patrol along Kuramo Beach seized 232 sacks of Marijuana weighing 46Kg per sack giving an estimated total of 10,672Kg and worth over N1 billion.

“On Friday, 13 August 2021, the Officers/Men of Coastal and Harbour Patrol together with the Controller Surveillance/Monitoring while on patrol along Kuramo Beach on the high sea accosted, intercepted and arrested sacks suspected to be Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana). The smugglers dived into the sea on sighting the patrol team.

“The goods were brought to the WMC; upon physical examination and counting, it was found to be 232 sacks of Marijuana with an average of 46Kg per sack giving an estimated total of 10,672Kg.

“The Street Value of the Marijuana is One Billion, One Hundred and Twenty Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira (N1, 120,560,000.00) only.”

Similarly, he said, on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at about 10.30pm, the operatives of the Command, while on Stop and Search operations along the waterways at Pashi of Yekeme axis, discovered some powdered substances suspected to be heroine concealed in a carton of Indomie noodles.

“One suspect in connection with the seizure was arrested. The powder was later sent for laboratory test analysis and it was certified to be heroine weighing a total of 1.52Kg valued at N40, 860,841.02k only.

“Also, on Wednesday, 15th September, 2021 at about 12am, a team of patrol while on credible intelligence along Abumbum-Ojo waterways, accosted and intercepted sacks suspected to contain drugs.

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“The sacks were evacuated to the base and upon physical examination, they were found to contain drugs that have expired on the 27th April 2017, with the total value of N62,252,794.00 only,” he said.

He said that the drugs include: 817 Bottles of B-Vital, 1,158 Bottles of Kordy-capsule, 3,110 Bottles of Double Ginseng, 619 Bottles of Detoxin, 607 Bottles of B-care, 198 Sachets of Ninhuang Jeedu pian, 1,200 Sachets of St Formula, 475 Bottles of Apetamin Syrup and bundles of printed labels of double Ginseng with Batch no. DG 04021 with MFG Date: 29.04.2021 and expiring Date of 28.04.2024.

According to Ochiba, the issue of concern on this arrest is that these expired drugs might have found its way into the Nigerian markets if not intercepted by our operatives.

“The smuggler intend to replace the expired labels with a new labels carrying new manufacturing and expiry date as it can be seen on the bundles of printed labels of Double Ginseng accompanying the seized consignment.”

The Acting Controller said that “the Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the Seizures under review is N1,265,830,809.04. only.

“These unprecedented seizures were made at various outstations of Ere and Akere of Idiroko, Badagry, Yekeme and Sea from July to date as a result of coordinated intelligence and our determination in enforcing the Federal Government Fiscal Policies.

“The action of our operatives is in line with the Provisions of Section 149 (Powers to search vehicles/ships and Section 158 (Power to Patrol Freely) of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as amended.”

Ochiba said that the activities of these smugglers is detrimental to the Nigeria’s economy and as such, the fight to salvage the Nation from the evil of smuggling is a collective one and non-negotiable, all hands must be on deck to suppress smuggling to its barest minimum.

He warned smugglers to know that the Officers/Men of the Command would not relent on their efforts “until smugglers are out of business, we will continue to track, arrest and prosecute them in accordance with the extant

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