January 28, 2023

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Customs intercepts military hardware, N13.8bn drugs at Lagos airport  

Customs intercepts military hardware, N13.8bn drugs at Lagos airport  

The Nigeria Customs Service says it has intercepted hard drugs, military and police hardware at the cargo section of the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

Controller of the Murtala Muhammed Airport command, Comptroller Sambo Dangaladima, said the drugs consist 162 cartons of banned tramadol hydrochloride 225 & 250mg, military and police hardware, which were intercepted at the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO).

Dangaladima said the hard drugs with a Duty Paid Value of N13.8billion originated from India and Pakistan and they are routed through Addis-Ababa to Lagos.

According to him, “These milligrams (225&250mg) are above allowable thresholds as contained in the extant laws. In summary, we have a total of 162 cartons/92,387 packs/929,970 sachets /9,299,700 tablets of Tramadol Hydrochloride with a DPV of N13.8billion which will be handed over to NDLEA by this Command.

“We are also handing over the suspect by name, Samson Olayiwan Tantolohun of 29 Okejide Street, Ejigbo, Lagos.”

Speaking on the Military and Police hardware, Dangaladima said 309 pieces of military helmets; 106 pieces of Military Armless Jackets; 352 pieces of ballistic body armoured pads and 119 pieces of Police Badges were intercepted.

Other intercepted contraband are five pieces of bulletproof jackets; 33 pieces of body side ballistic pads and 105 pieces of ballistic chest plates.

The Customs CAC stated that a suspect, Olaolu Marquis, was arrested for inability to provide End Users Certificate, saying the Service is empowered by section 46B of the Customs Excise and Management Act to seize such importation.

He said, “We intercepted and detained some Military hardware and uniforms from two AWBs,118-11860343/3 and118-18860332/5, with the following: 309 pieces of military helmets; 106 pieces of Military Armless Jackets; 352 pieces of ballistic body armoured pads and 119 pieces of Police Badges.

“Others are five pieces of bulletproof jackets; 33 pieces of body side ballistic pads and 105 pieces of ballistic chest plates. The suspect connected to this importation could not provide the end user certificate which is the lawful prerequisite for such Importation. We have detained the suspects, Mr Olaolu Marquis, and the military wares while investigation is ongoing.”

“We are very much mindful of the fact that 2023 is an election year in Nigeria, the inflow of traffic of these hard drugs that induce our youths to do extraordinary things (when taken) are bound to increase. I can assure the unscrupulous importers that MMAC is the most dangerous route for their illicit trade because we are always here to catch them and ensure that they face the wrath of the law.”

Meanwhile, the Customs boss said the command generated N69.77 billion between January to December 2022.

“The Command has fared well in the area of revenue generation for the past year. I make bold to say that this Area Command never had it so good. Between January to December 2022, the Command generated a total of N69.77 billion, against the N55.67 billion generated in the year 2021.

“This shows an overwhelming increase of N14.1 billion representing 25.34%. The 2022 yearly target was N66.9 billion but the Command surpassed the target with N2.83 billion representing 4.24% increase,” he stated.