Customs Intercepts Two Aircraft At Apapa Port
• Seizes 40 containers of Tramadol worth N7.3b
Customs Intercepts Two Aircraft At Apapa Port – The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday displayed two aircraft intercepted at Apapa Port for flouting the import and export procedures.
Also seized by the command were 40 containers loaded with Tramadol and other pharmaceutical products worth about N7.3 billion and allegedly imported from India.
Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, while displaying the seized items in Apapa Port, said one of the two aircraft, a helicopter with registration number SN-BLI, was intended for export and the items inside it were falsely declared as 388 bags of cashew nuts.
He said the second aircraft, a Cesena 182A imported from the United States (U.S.), which was declared through SGD No. C130308, was seized because of the failure of the owners to present End User Certificate from the office of the National Security Officer and approval from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
This, he said, was in contravention of Section 46 of Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA, Cap C45, LPN 2004.
Ali said the importers had offered some officers of the command and that of the Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ a bribe of $412,000, which was turned down.
He said three suspects had been arrested while investigation is ongoing to fish out the owners of the helicopter.
Also, he said that anyone found wanting in connection with the items would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Besides, the Customs boss said that importers of the Tramadol offered bribe of N150 million to officers to effect release of just one container with a promise of a bigger amount in the event that their first attempt succeeds but the officers played along and eventually arrested three suspects with the money.
He said: “While the seizure of dangerous drugs and aircraft demonstrates NCS’ crucial contributions to national economic and security well-being, the rejection of N150 million bribe presents a picture of a reformed NCS whose operatives are increasingly putting national interest above selves.
Ali commended the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) whose collaboration with customs he said led to the seizures of the containers.