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Nigeria Customs Seizes N13bn drugs, military hardware at Lagos airport

Hard drugs, military, police equipment, and other contraband were allegedly seized at the airport’s cargo area, according to the Murtala Muhammed Airport Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Sambo Dangaladima, the Customs Area Controller, told reporters on Tuesday at the command in Ikeja, Lagos, that 162 cartons of illegal tramadol hydrochloride 225 and 250mg, as well as military and police equipment, were seized at the Skyway Aviation Handling Company.

He continued by saying that the drugs came from Ethiopia and were transported through Addis-Abeba, India, and Pakistan.

The medications’ estimated duty-paid value, according to Dangaladima, was N13.8 billion.

He said, “These milligrams (225 and 250mg) are above allowable thresholds as contained in extant laws. The hard drugs originated from India and Pakistan and they were routed through Addis-Ababa to Lagos.

“In summary, we have a total of 162 cartons, 92,387 packs, 929,970 sachets, and 9,299,700 tablets of tramadol hydrochloride with a value of N13.8bn.”

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He noted that the command would hand over the seized drugs to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

The head of customs reported that the command also seized 119 pieces of police badges, 352 pieces of ballistic body armored pads, 106 pieces of military armless jackets, and 309 pieces of military helmets.

Other items include 105 ballistic chest plates, 33 body side ballistic pads, and 5 bulletproof coats.

“The suspect connected to this importation could not provide the end user certificate which is the lawful prerequisite for such importation. We have detained the suspects and the military wares, while investigation is ongoing.

“We are very mindful of the fact that 2023 is an election year in Nigeria; the inflow of traffic of these hard drugs that induce our youths to do extraordinary things (when taken) are bound to increase,” he added.

Meanwhile, the command stated that it generated N69bn between January and December 2022.

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