Acting on reliable information from its Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU), the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said that it intercepted 4x40ft containers of allegedly smuggled controlled and banned pharmaceutical products imported from India.
Comptroller Jubrin Musa disclosed to newsmen in Lagos that the seized drugs, allegedly imported by Villa Gold Pharmacy, have a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N110.02 million, while a suspect was arrested in connection but has been released on administrative bail while investigations continued.
The drugs included 922 cartons of 120mg Tramadol BP capsules, 192 cartons of 250mg Tramadol capsules and 1,136 cartons of 225mg Tramadol Hydrochloride tablets.
Others were 430 cartons of 4mg Collstop Chlorpheniramine Maleate capsules, 160 cartons of Dobumol Anagestic, 330 cartons of Ibramol, 453 cartons of 50mg Rally Extra, and 15mg Chest and Lungs tablets.
He said that some of the drugs, for being imported beyond the allowable limits under the law, were not certified by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
According to Jibril, “tramadol is not under trade prohibition but it is controlled and regulated. The number of milligrams that is supposed to be imported is known. If someone is importing the drug in that controlled milligram, NAFDAC will certify it, but where you import milligrams over and above the control limit, that is where the law is infringed upon.
“Worried by the level of insecurity in the country, one wonders what negative impacts would have resulted in the aftermath of these drugs finding their way into the larger society. This could have further aggravated the already tensed situation.”
Meanwhile, Jibril disclosed that the command generated the sum of N31.02 billion in January 2018, an increase of N1.5 billion over the N25.9 billion collected in the corresponding period in 2017.
Though the figure was less than the expected N35.5 billion monthly in pursuit of the annual target of N426 billion, he assured that the command would not only meet but surpass the target for the year.
He further stated that the Nigeria Customs Information System (NICIS) 11 software would soon be deployed to the command to block all revenue leakages and increase revenue and compliance levels.