Customs seizes N242.6m drugs

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday said it intercepted truckloads of smuggled prohibited drugs worth over N242, 688,000. The drugs identified as Tramadol Hydrochoride tablets in the range of 225mg/200 mg were seized along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; Sango-Ota and Idiroko Road in Ogun State. According to the Controller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), the drugs were concealed in a total of 5,056 cartons, parked in two trucks on two units of 40-foot containers.

He said the drugs were prohibited and not good for consumption without prescription, adding that investigations were ongoing to unravel the involvement of customs personnel in the clearing of the consignment. He further said that the importers and the customs operative, who colluded with them to allow the drugs into the country, were yet to be arrested.

“This drug is prohibited and not good for consumption without prescription. A lot of women and youths now take it to relieve stress, but it’s harmful to health if taken outside medical guidance,” Ali said.

He said customs as a body will intensify its battle against smuggling and will continue to prevent prohibited items from entering the Nigerian market to safeguard the economy and health of Nigerians.

Last year, the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, evacuated 773 cartons of same tramadol capsules with 225mg and 700 cartons from an unnamed warehouse in Lagos with the suspect still facing trial at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Some of the side effects of the drug include agitation, nervousness, anxiety, seizures (convulsions), skin rash, dizziness and spinning sensation.

Other side effects includes hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, loss of coordination, headache, drowsiness.

Meanwhile, members of the Comptroller-General of Customs Compliance Task Force of the Nigerian Customs Service yesterday seized 210 cars smuggled into the country in less than one year

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