The Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Port Command on Monday in Lagos, disclosed that it rejected a whooping N50 million bribe offer from a suspect arrested in connection with two containers of unregistered imported drugs at Tin Can Island Container Terminals (TICT).
Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Adekunle Oloyede, disclosed this at a press briefy in Lagos, said the suspect who is a freight forwarder, Mr. Boniface Ike reportedly said he was the owner of the two intercepted containers, offered the huge sum money to the officers in order to be left out of the hook.
According to him, the contents of the two containers were revealed after physical examinations were conducted on both containers by the Enforcement officers, Customs Intelligence operatives, Customs Police and Examination officers of the terminal on Tuesday, 22nd August, 2023.
Oloyede stated that he had instructed the officers to play along with the suspect when he sought to discuss privately with the OC Enforcement, Deputy Controller G I Aliyu, Team leader, CIU, Assistant Comptroller H. Abubakar.
Comptroller Oloyede noted that the unregistered pharmaceutical products intercepted are regulated products by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) and did not have the required permit and certificates for importation in which the documents are to ascertain the safety of the products to Nigerians, hence the concealment by the importers.
He added that the shipper had declared in the Bill of Lading of the first container that it contained One Thousand and Sixteen (1,016) packages containing electrical goods ceiling fans, 36 jewel (cooper) and chilly cutters (stainless steel + plastic) but was found to contain five cartons of Timaking, 120 Tapentadil cartons containing 50 rolls, each roll contains 5 packets, each packet 200 tablets.
Eighty-four (84) cartons of Gastro Resistant Omeprazole capsule BP 200mg. Each carton contains 50 packets, each packet contains 10 capsules.
Eight Hundred and Seventy Six (876) cartons of CSMIX cough syrup containing Codeine, each carton containing 200 bottles.
Fifty cartons of Manual Grater Machine with 70 pieces contained in each carton
However, the second container after the Bill of Lading, stated that it contains One Thousand and Twenty One packages containing Electrical goods, ceiling fans,, 36 jewel and chilly cutter was revealed through physical examination thet it actually contained ten cartons of Super Royal 225 (Tramadol). Each carton has in it, 50 rolls containing 20.packets with each packet containing 10 tablets.
Others include; One Hundred and Five cartons of Omeprazolr Capsule BP 200mg, Seven Hundred and Fifty Four cartons of Barcadin with Codeine, 70 pieces of Fifty cartons of Manual Grater Machine and One carton of Compo Ceiling Fan as means of concealment.
Continuing, the Customs top brass said following an intensive surveillance operation on a routine examination carried out at the command, a container was found to contain frozen poultry products.
He added that the Single Goods Declaration (SGD), other supporting documents (Form M and PAAR) stated Tangerines but was used to conceal imported frozen food products.
He said, “The goods were falsely declared as they are under the import prohibition items. The container has been seized for contravention of Section 233 of the Nigeria Customs Service Acts 2023.
“The persistent fraudulent nature of importers and agents drives us to be more innovative in putting methods and measures to combat smuggling activities, ensure no leakage of revenue to the government and the safety of Nigeria.
He said, “The Nigeria Customs Service will not be a part to nefarious acts which jeopardize the safety of lives of the citizens of our dear country, Nigeria. Any fraudulent importer or agent who tries to perpetrate such acts, will be prosecuted accordingly.
The Duty Paid Value of the seizures, according to the Customs boss, amount to Five Hundred and Fifty Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Five Thousand, Sox Hundred and Sixty Nine Naira (N550,265,669.00) only.