Customs seizes N174m codeine


Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operation Unit, Zone A, Lagos, has intercepted 347 cartons of codeine syrup valued at N174 million in Lagos.
Also, the service said yesterday that it seized 140 bundles of textile materials worth N11.2 million.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the unit, Comptroller Mohammed Aliyu, said that 25,153 bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country were also intercepted.
The bags of rice were concealed with cement in a truck.
Other seizures included 49 cartons of Paracetamol injection worth N39.2 million; 86 sacks of used shoes worth N10.3 million, 820 sacks of donkey skins worth N78 million, 1,000 sachets of tramadol valued at N250,000 and Indian hemp worth N11 million.
It was learnt that the smuggling of textile materials through the nation’s land borders was on the increase since the Federal Government banned importers from accessing foreign exchange to import textile materials in the country.
In March, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, complained that the country was spending over $4 billion annually on imported textiles and ready-made clothing.
He noted that the potential market size of the domestic textile industry was over $10 billion.
Aliyu said the seized rice worth over N331 million would be given to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) upon directives from the Customs headquarters.
He said: “We have over 25,153 bags of rice waiting for directive from Abuja worth over N331 million and we don’t give poisonous rice to IDPs as insinuated by some people.”
The CAC also disclosed that the unit intercepted a truck loaded with cement and smuggled rice, thereby making the rice poisonous.
He noted that 16 vehicles worth over N470 million were also intercepted in the month under review.
The seized vehicles also included a Toyota Land Cruiser worth N189 million and 347 cartons of codeine syrup worth N174 million.
Other vehicles seized are Mitsubishi Pajero, Land Cruiser, Toyota Venza, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Toyota Yaris, among others.
Aliyu said: “These are the 16 vehicles worth over N347 million; there is one bullet proof vehicle. The vehicles are abandoned after heavy chase by our operatives along Oyo and Ogun border.”
He reiterated that the Federal Government ban on imported used and new vehicles and foreign parboiled rice at the land borders was still in force.

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