June 1, 2023

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Customs FOU ‘A’ intercepts N1.4bn expired, illicit drugs in Lagos

The Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service said it intercepted 41 containers of expired and illicit drugs worth N1.42billion.

Addressing journalists at the Unit’s headquarters in Lagos on Tuesday, Acting Controller of the unit, Hussein Ejibunu said the drugs were intercepted at different times and locations in the South West region.

Ejibunu, who handed over the drugs to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said while some of the drugs were expired, some were also fake and above the threshold of imported content.

He said, “As a part of the results achieved from the reworked strategy; expired, illicit, and other drugs that did not comply with the statutory import requirements worth N1.42billion were intercepted at different times and locations. The drugs are, however, constructively warehoused in 39 x 140 ft and 2 x 20 ft containers by this unit, and will be handed over to the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), for possible destruction.”

 

Ejibunu also disclosed that 11 trailer loads of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, 35,325 litres of premium motor spirit, 279 bales of foreign used clothes,105 parcels of parcels of cannabis sativa were intercepted in the month of March.

Others are 2/ 40 ft containers of 883 bales of used clothes and 8 units of foreign used vehicles also known as tokunbo.

He said the total worth of the seized goods in terms of Duty Paid Value (DPV) stood at N694.4million while five suspects were arrested in connection with some of the goods.

Customs FOU ‘A’ intercepts N1.4bn expired, illicit drugs in Lagos

According to the Customs boss, the seizures were made for contravening various sections of the extant Customs laws including concealment, false declaration, under payment and duty evasion.

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He said, “While the federal government played its role by imposing trade restrictions in an effort to protect our local companies and farmers from unhealthy competition with foreign firms, the onus lies on its citizens to complement government’s efforts with that of compliance with the Customs’ extant regulations and government’s fiscal policies.

“This can be achieved by making sincere declarations, and being properly guided by the import/export prohibition lists. It is imperative to note that the wisdom behind the government’s protectionist policy is to protect the national economy and safeguard its citizens’ lives and property. Smuggled bales of used clothes expose its users to fungal diseases and other skin diseases like scabies.

“Apart from the effect of smuggled foreign frozen poultry products on the economy, it also affects the health of its consumers. Some of these frozen poultry products are preserved under questionable conditions. This assertion is embedded in some previous laboratory reports by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

“In our efforts to prevent loss of government revenue to duty underpayments that either arose from the undervaluation of imported items or wrong Harmonized System (HS) code classification; the sum of N72.6million was recovered during the period under review.

“These seizures are a reflection of our commitment to duty and non-compromise in the discharge of our functions; aimed at protecting the nation’s economy and preventing importation of prohibited and harmful products from entering our domestic markets.”

 

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