By Foster Obi
The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service said through its manifest management system, it was able to track and intercept a container No. 1793504 manifested as ceramic tiles, adding, upon 100% physical examination to ascertain its true contents, it was found to contain 554 cartons of Tramadol capsules (120mg) concealed with 1000 cartons of ceramic tiles.
A press statement signed by the newly appointed Customs Area Controller (CAC), Malanta Yusuf also listed as part of the seizures, “One (1) 40ft container loaded with sacks of mosquito coil products but declared as Ground paper and packaging paper bag.
“Seven (7) containers loaded with bales of used clothing and shoes
One (1) container of unregistered pharmaceutical product (989 cartons of Mixagrip tabs) wrongfully declared as Winches and gaskets.”
According to the statement, “it is noteworthy to state that the consignments are out rightly seized for breaching the provisions of sections 46, 47, and 161 of CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004 and provision of schedule 4 (17) of the Common External Tariff.
“Based on the foregoing, the Command has launched a preliminary investigation with a view to identifying the consignees for arrest and possible prosecution in connection with this criminal and unlawful importation.
“The Total Duty Paid Value of the aforementioned seizures stood at two hundred and twenty-three million, two hundred and twenty-five thousand, nine hundred naira (N223, 225,900.00)
“It’s my pleasure to warmly welcome you to this maiden press briefing to showcase the Command’s progressive achievements since I assumed duty as the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command.
“Barely three weeks after I resumed duty, I came in with strong determination, zeal and commitment to ensure that the confidence and trust bestowed on me by the CGC is upheld not abused. In line with that, the command’s anti-smuggling architecture has been redesigned to suppress smuggling to the barest minimum.
“I want to use this medium to assure members of the business community that the command will increase sensitization, enlightenment and robust stakeholders’ engagement for seamless operations, with a view to educate the public on the harmful and destructive nature of these illegal importations. This Command under my watch will not tolerate such kind of unlawful behavior from any importer or declarant.”