Tramadol seized by Customs

An importer of pharmaceutical products, Mr. Boniface Ike, has been accused of offering N50 million gratification to customs officer for the release of his seized container.

Controller, Tincan Island Port Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Adekunle Oloyede, who disclosed this at a news conference in Lagos on Monday, said that the seized products were imported from India by the suspect.

According to Oloyede, the suspect and one of his accomplices are detained at the command’s Enforcement Unit in accordance with the investigation process of the Service.

Oloyede, who explained that the suspect allegedly confessed to be the importer of the seized containers, valued N550.3 million, wanted to have a private discussion with one of the officers.

“I instructed my officers to play along; the request was granted in expectation of receiving vital information from the suspect.

“But to their bewilderment, the suspect pleaded for his freedom from detention and release of the containers.

“He offered gratification to the tune of N50 million as displayed equivalent to $54,330 at the current exchange rate N920.

“The money was collected and kept in safe custody at the enforcement unit to be tendered as exhibit,” he said.

The customs boss said the command received a timely intelligence from its Customs Intelligence Unit on the suspected importation of illicit dangerous drugs (unregistered regulated pharmaceutical products).

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Oloyede said that the products were concealed in two by 40ft containers with Bill of lading Nos 227578945 and 227898171.

“On arrival of the vessel in Tincan Island Container Terminal (TICT), the containers (MRSU 592397/0 and MRKU 553432/1) were transferred immediately to the enforcement station for 100 per cent physical examination and further investigation.

“The physical examination was conducted on both containers by enforcement officers, Customs Intelligence Operatives, Customs Police and Examination officers of the Terminal on Aug. 22 at about 14:00 hours and August 23 at about 13:00 hours, respectively.

“The following were discovered, container No MRSU 592397/0: The details on the Bill of Lading with No 227578945 stated the items laden were (1,016) packages containing electricals, ceiling fan, 36 Jewel (cooper) and chilly cutters (stainless steel plastic).

“After examination, the container was found to contain five cartons of timaking 120 tapentadol (Tramadol) hydrochloride carisoprodol capsule.

“Each carton contains 50 rolls, each roll contains five packets, each packet 200 tablets,” he said.

Other contents, according to him, are 84 cartons of gastro resistant omeprazole capsule BP 200mg, each carton contains 50 packets, each packet contains 10 capsules.

“876 cartons of CSMIX cough syrup containing codeine (each bottle 100ml). Each carton contains 200 bottles.

“50 cartons of manual grater machine-70 pieces per carton and one carton of ceiling fan as means of concealment,” he said.

Oloyede said that the other container, No MRKU 553432/, had the details on Bill of Landing with number 227898171, which  contained 1,021 packages of ceiling fan, 36 jewel (cooper) and chilly cutter (stainless steel plastic).

He said that after examination the container was found to contain: 10 cartons of super royal 225 (Tramadol).

“Each carton contains 50 rolls, each roll contains 10 packets, each packet 10 tablets.

“Other contents are 105 cartons of Omeprazole Capsule BP 200mg. Each carton contains 50 packets, each packet contains 10 capsules, 754 cartons of Barcadin with Codeine (each bottle 100ml). Each carton contains 200 Bottles.

“50 cartons of manual grater machine – 70 pieces per carton and one carton of compo ceiling fan as means of concealment,” he said.

Oloyede said the unregistered pharmaceutical products intercepted were regulated products by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

He also said that it had no required permits and certificates for importation and documents to ascertain the safety of the products to Nigerians.

The Star



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