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The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N2.055 billion in two weeks.

Following its reinvigorated effort in anti-smuggling drive in the South West Zone, the FOU Zone A was able to arrest eight suspects and seized 25 items worth about N2.06 billion between July 25 and August 7, 2018.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos, yesterday, the Customs Area Comptroller of the unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, said that notable among the seizures on a truck along Egbeda Junction beside Alaba International were 2,748 cartons of DSWP codeine cough syrup 100mg (100 per carton) and 95 cartons of Chaka pain Xtra based on information.

He said this is the second time in a row the unit is intercepting this substance since the Federal Government banned the importation of cough syrup that contains codeine.

He added: “The substance is valued at N1.175 billion. The driver of the truck, on sighting our officers, abandoned the truck and fled. Also, 49 cartons of tramadol capsules (100mg) were also evacuated from a warehouse in Ajao Estate based on information.

The drugs will be handed over to the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for further investigation. Giving a breakdown of the intercepted goods, Ubah said 17 exotic vehicles, which included seven Toyota Land Cruiser Jeeps (2015-2018 models), four Toyota Hiace Buses (2017 model), two Coaster Buses (2017) and four Toyota Camry cars (2014) with DPV of N384.291 million are currently in Customs custody.

He also noted that 1,380 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each worth N18,288,174, 1,126 pieces of used shoes valued at N2,026,800 and 140 jerry cans of vegetable oil worth N1,701,00 are also in the unit’s custody.

According to him, 21 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 1,031kg and four pieces of elephant tusk weighing 29.35kg with DPV of N253,566 million seized by the unit. He said the trade in such endangered species is globally prohibited, hence the need for NCS to fight against such illegality so that such endangered species do not go into extinction.

Also within the weeks under review, he said the unit intercepted 39 sacks and 1,220 parcels of Canabis Sativa popularly known as Indian hemp weighing 1,610kg concealed in baskets of fresh tomatoes, pepper and vegetables valued at N154,560,000.

In the spirit of interagency relationship, he revealed that the seized substance would be handed over to the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation.

Describing smugglers as economic saboteurs, he advised individuals and fraudulent importers to desist from illegal trade as it does not do anybody any good.

He said government formulates rules and regulations to run the economy, which is for the welfare and wellbeing of the citizens. For any unpatriotic reasons, individuals or any group decides to do otherwise, NCS will ensure that the Federal Government policies are imposed to cleanse society of bad eggs.

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