The Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday disclosed that it had intercepted truckloads of smuggled drugs worth over N242.6m, whose importation was highly prohibited.
The drugs identified as Tramadol Hydrochloride and Tramadol and Really Extra tablets in the range of 225mg/200mg were seized along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Apapa Road, Lagos.
According to the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Retd), the drugs were concealed in 5,056 cartons, parked in two trucks on two units of 40-foot containers.
He stated that the drugs were prohibited and not good for consumption without prescription, noting that they bore no evidence of registration from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and were marked “produced for export.”
The Customs boss said that investigations were ongoing to unravel the involvement of NCS personnel in the clearing of the consignment.
He said the importers and the Customs operative who colluded with them to allow the dangerous drugs enter into the country had not been 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 is harmful to health if taken outside medical guidance,” Ali said.
He added that the Customs would intensify its battle against smuggling and would continue to prevent prohibited items from entering the Nigerian market in order to safeguard the economy and health of the citizens.
In 2016, the Federal Operations Unit Zone A of the NCS, evacuated 773 cartons of Tramadol capsules in 225mg and 700mg from an unnamed warehouse in Lagos, with a suspect still facing trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Some of the side effects of the drug, according to medical sources, are agitation, nervousness, anxiety, seizures (convulsions), skin rash, dizziness and spinning sensation.
Ali added that the seized drugs were capable of increasing criminal activities and economic waste, and that their importation had a negative impact on local production and employment.