ANTI – SMUGGLING: Tin Can Customs Intercepts Illicit Drugs, Others Worth N4.1bn

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By Innocent Orok

In another show of its anti- snuggling prowess and frontal efforts to sanitize the Nigerian society of harmful and dangerous products, the Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Command has intercepted hard drugs and illicit pharmaceutical products worth N4.1billion imported from India and Canada through Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) into the Country.

In a media briefing to showcase the offensive items held on Friday the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, assured that Customs would explore bilateral relations and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with foreign nations to curb smuggling of of unwanted goods into Nigeria.

Adeniyi lamented that the misuse and abuse of drugs, particularly Cannabis and codeine, pose severe dangers to the Nigerian society.

His words: “Codeine, a restricted drug in Nigeria, has been widely abused, leading to devastating effects on our youths. This substance not only impairs the health and well-being of individuals but also contributes to the rise in criminal activities. Cannabis Indica, similarly, has become a significant concern, with its abuse leading to mental health issues, addiction, and social problems. Unchecked activities involving restricted items serve multiple purposes for criminal elements.”

He stated that these drugs are often used as stimulants by criminals, further fuelling societal unrest and instability even as the proceeds from the illicit drug trade also finance disruptions by non-state actors, posing a significant threat to national security.

The Customs boss gave details of the seized containers as to include three plastic drums concealing several packets of Cannabis Indica, 46 bags containing 2,144 packets of Cannabis Indica all weighing 1,072 kilogrammes seized from 01x40ft Container No. GAOU 669921/5 imported from Canada. The approximate street value of the illicit substances is N3,216,000,000.

Another include “877 cartons of Barcadin cough syrup with codeine- 200 bottles of 100ml per carton and 82 cartons of Really Extra Diclofenac Sodium 50mg tablets – 600 packs per carton imported from India was seized. The approximate street value of the cough syrup worth N964, 339,348.00”.

While commending the Area Controller, TCIP, Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni, and the Command’s operatives for their resolve to remain vigilant to disrupt the activities of those who seek to harm the nation; the Customs CG described the seizures as a troubling trend indicating an evolving tactics of criminality and insecurity in the country.

He, however, assured that the NCS will continue to work closely with relevant National and International agencies to conduct operations that lead to the interception of illegal goods and the disruption of criminal networks.

“We urge all patriotic Nigerians to continue their legitimate business activities, assured that the NCS is actively working with stakeholders to ease the challenges faced by businesses and the general public,” the Customs CG remarked.

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