Customs Strike Force intercepts 5,124kg drug worth N516m, 705 bags of rice in Lagos

  • Seizes contrabands worth N9b in 2022

By Anthony Nwachukwu

The Controller-General of Customs (CGC) Strike Force Team A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 5,124kg Cannabis Sativa (Indian hemp) with duty paid value (DPV) of N516 million in Lagos.

Also seized so far this month were 705x50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice with DPV of N42 million, and 11 bales of second-hand clothing worth N3 million, Controller of the team, Mr. Sani Yusuf, disclosed to newsmen at Ikeja Wednesday.

On a larger scale, Yusuf said the team collected N5.8 billion through demand notices from January to December 2022, and seized various contrabands with DPV of N9 billion – a 55 per cent increase on the N3.9 billion for the same period of 2021 in its anti-smuggling operations.

He said his men intercepted the Indian hemp this month along the Lekki coast as they were being moved directly from the ship to trucks, based on credible intelligence, adding: “We intercepted it somewhere around Lekki along the coast in the midnight.

“On getting there, we saw a lot of men loading the contrabands from the ship directly into the truck in spite of the sea waves. They were loading the second and third trucks when we got there, and there was pandemonium.”

According to him, the truck was already loaded, parked outside and waiting to be taken out before his men arrived, so they took it to their office, while those loading the consignment ran away.

“This particular truck was parked outside while they were loading the other two. They never knew we were coming. They had loaded this truck and kept it outside,” he said.

“So when we came, while they were arguing, we decided it was better to take the ones we were seeing, and also for the safety of our officers.”

Meanwhile, Yusuf listed the other seizures in 2022 to include “225mg of tramadol, 100mg of sildenafil citrate, codeine cough syrup, foreign parboiled rice, containers of timber, pangolin scales, slabs of donkey skin, and Cannabis sativa, among others.

He warned all unpatriotic importers and their agents that the team would “not only make seizures, but our ever vigilant operatives will also get them arrested to face the full wrath of the law.

“We are relying on our gallant and intelligent officers to suppress smuggling and prevent revenue losses; our commitment to doing better in 2023 and beyond is hereby renewed.”

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