Operatives of the Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service have intercepted unregistered pharmaceutical products smuggled into the country through the land borders.
Addressing journalists at the command in Seme border on Wednesday, Controller of the command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni said the drugs concealed in a truck belonging to one of the major conglomerates were intercepted during stop and search along Abidjan Lagos Corridor.
He said the unregistered pharmaceutical products worth N27,861,538 were: Morphine Sulfate 100ml x 1076 bottles; Amodiaquine Suspension 60ml x 94 bottles; Vermox 500mg x 2970 packages; Mepacrine Tablets 100mg x 390 packets x 1000 tablets; Clofenac SR 100mg x 298 packets x 10 sachets x 10 tablets; Losartail Potassium 50mg x packages x 2 sachets x 28 tablets; Virest 400 ACICLOVIR tablets; and B.P 400mg x 499 packages x 5 sachets x 5 tablets.
Comptroller Nnadi disclosed that five out of the seven seized pharmaceutical products have expired.
He explained that the seizure contravened both the Customs ban on the importation of pharmaceutical products through the land border without approval and further contravened NAFDAC laws as they do not have NAFDAC registration numbers.
“On the 9th of May 2023 at about 0830hrs, officers and men of Seme Command of Nigeria Customs Service while conducting stop and search along Abidjan Lagos Corridor intercepted a truck with registration number GL 6663 GH belonging to one of the major conglomerates concealed with some cartons of pharmaceutical products.
“The Command and indeed every Nigerian is worried about this particular seizure considering the dangerous use of morphine which is a derivate of opium. This drug can be deployed for illicit use to aid criminals.
“Let me reiterate our commitment to fight smuggling under any guise and also states that those trying our resolve will continue to meet their water-loo as we remain resolute at ensuring adequate surveillance of our borders,” he said.
Meanwhile, the command has also handed over seized 553 parcels of Cannabis Sativa and two suspects arrested on April 21 during routine patrol along the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation.
He said “Recall that, on the 21st of April, 2023, the officer of the Command on a routine patrol along the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor intercepted a Ford Bus conveying seven (7) large sacks containing five hundred and fifty-three (553) parcels and four suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.
“In line with the dictates of the Nigeria Customs Service in the promotion of inter-agency collaboration and synergy, the CGC Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali Rtd directed that the seized items and two (2) suspects should be handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation.
“To this end, the 553 parcels of Cannabis Sativa and two (2) suspects are today being handed over to NDLEA. Two (2) other suspects had earlier been handed over to the sister security agency for necessary action.
“Once again, let me thank the Comptroller General Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali Rtd and the management of Customs for the encouragement and support to the Command. I also give credit for our success to the tireless effort of officers and men of Seme Area Command for their doggedness and of course to you gentlemen of the press for always heeding our call to propagate our message of anti-smuggling to the society.”