By Eromosele Abiodun
The Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ Ikeja of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted and impounded various contraband goods with Duty Paid Value(DPV) of N2.055 billion within two weeks.
The Comptroller of the Command, Uba Mohammed ,who disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, indicated that the most notable of the seizures were a MAN Diesel Truck with registration number XB 286 BEN which was intercepted along Afromedia Estate by Egbeda Junction, beside Alaba International carrying 2,748 cartons of DSP Codeine Cough Syrup 100mg (100 per carton) and 95 Cartons of Chaka pain Xtra based on information.
According to him, “This is the second time in a row the unit is intercepting this substance since the federal government banned the importation of Cough Syrup that contains codeine. The substance is valued at N1,175,200,000.
“The driver of the truck on sighting our officer abandoned the truck and fled. Also 49 cartons of tramadol capsules 100mg were evacuated from a warehouse in Ajao Estate based on information. The drugs will be handed over to NAFDAC for further investigation.”
“Similarly and more remarkably among the seizure was the evacuation of 21 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 1,031kg and 4 pieces of elephant tusk weighing 29.35kg from a shop located in Tejuosho market in Victoria Island, based on information by Warehouse Operation team, led by AC Mutalib Sule.
“The occupant of the shop fled and is still at large; but investigation is already ongoing towards getting the culprit arrested and prosecuted”, Uba stated further, adding that the seized endangered species have a DPV of N253,566,056.
“You will recall that the Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Usman Jibril accompanied by the CITES Delegate from UN visited the unit, inspected the previous seizure of such endangered species this year and even commended us for a job well done. The trade on such endangered species is globally prohibited, hence the need for us all to fight against such illegality so that such endangered species do not go into extinction.
“Also within the weeks under review, the unit intercepted one Ford Transit Bus with Engine no. XL32452L along Olorunda axis Ogun state based conveying 39 sacks aand 1,220 parcels of Cannabis Sativa popularly known as Indian Hemp weighing 1,610kg, concealed with baskets of Fresh Tomatoes, pepper and vegetables. In the spirit of inter agency relationship, the seized substance will be handed over to NDLEA for further investigation,” he stated.
Mohammed added, “Other seized items include: 17 units exotic vehicles, 1,380 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 1,126 pieces of used shoes, 40 jerrycan of vegetable oil. Among the detained vehicles include 7 Toyota Land Cruiser Jeeps (2015-2018), 4 Toyota Hiace Bus (2017), 2 Toyota Coaster Bus (2017), and 4 Toyota Camry (2014).
“These 17 Exotics Vehicles have a duty paid value of N348,291,251.94 only”, the Command Boss stated further, stressing that while 4 of the vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu Ode Expressway, 13 were evacuated from a House on Plot 1, Akintailor Close, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, based on credible information; with 8 suspects arrested, in connection with the 25 seizures.”