Customs impounds large consignments of Tramadol, other dangerous drugs
The Federal Operations Unit FOU, of the Nigeria Customs Service has impounded two trucks loads and two 40- foot containers of tramadol hydrochloride and Really extra. Both dangerous drugs, which are under the absolute prohibition list were seized by the operatives of the FOU in conjunction with the compliance team of the service.
This seizure is coming less than two months after the FOU intercepted and seized 661 pieces of pump action automatic rifles cleared from Apapa Port in Lagos.
Comptroller General of the service, Col. Hameed Ali,who addressed newsmen in Lagos on Monday, said that the consignments consist of 5,066 cartons of the prohibited tramadol hydrochloride and 1,211 cartons of Really Extra 1,211 as well as additional 3,845 cartons of another specie of tramadol hydrochloride, all with a duty paid value DPV of N242.7million.
According to him, the drugs were imported from China and India, were cleared from the Idiroko Border and were intercepted and seized along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Apapa Road.
The CG expressed dismay as to how such a large consignments of dangerous drugs could find their way into the country, irrespective of the multiple checks and balances on the way,
He however admitted that the drugs were able to leave the borders because of the bad elements in the customs.
“The multiplicity of checks on the highways is not for the purpose of harassment but to make sure that nothing escapes the system. We are not deliberately harassing the people. Our own officers are compromising. That is why we have layers of checks. These things are inimical to the economy. Anybody who keeps taking these drugs will not be useful to the society. It is a war all of us will be ready to fight”, the CG said emphatically.
It was gathered that though the operatives arrested some suspects in connection with the seizure, the service has decided to keep their identities secret, as they are undergoing a process of profiling, even as the management of the service is also working towards identifying the officers involved in the release of the cargo, who would be punished adequately, which may include prosecution.
He said:“We are tracking our officers. True profiling will indicate those involved. We still have the bad elements among us”.
The Customs-boss also called on other members of the public to give information to Customs because the officers cannot cover everywhere since they are not spirits.
The FOU had last year evacuated 773 cartons of the Tramadol capsules of 22 milligram and 700 cartons of really extra from unnamed warehouse in Lagos with a suspect is still facing trial at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Investigations however showed that the drugs have the tendency to increase criminal activities, cause economic waste (Destruction of the drugs) and affect local production.
Experts say that the common side effects of tramadol may include but not limited to headache, dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling; constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain; feeling nervous or anxious; flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling), itching and sweating,