Customs intercepts fake pharmaceutical products, other contraband worth over N869.6m

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone “C” of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 1,024 cartons of fake pharmaceutical products and other contraband goods worth N869,550,345.

The Comptroller, Yusuf Lawal, who displayed the items in Owerri on Wednesday told newsmen that they were intercepted in Jan. 2021.

Other items on display included 1,046 bags of foreign parboiled rice worth N31,380,000 and 62 jumbo bales of used clothing worth N7,800,000.

Also displayed were 290 cartons of foreign Eva soap worth N4,176,000 and a Toyota Corolla 2018 car worth N7,354,345.

Lawal said that the pharmaceutical products which were imported from India without NAFDAC certification were intercepted along Ofosu – Benin expressway based on shared intelligence.

He also said that the cartons of soap were intercepted along Aba – Owerri road adding that soaps and detergents are still on the Import Prohibition list in line with schedule 3 of Common External Tariff.

He added that the parboiled rice was trailed and evacuated from a warehouse along Elelenwo road, Portharcourt following laid down rules of engagement backed by sections 147 and 151 of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 LFN 2004.

The FOU ZONE “C” boss assured that importers of the unregistered Colcaps medicaments, and their accomplices will be unraveled as according to him, the negative effects of unlicensed drugs in the wrong hands cannot be overemphasized.

He further said that the drugs will be handed over to authorities of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for necessary professional checks.

According to him, the NCS will synergize with relevant authorities in India to checkmate illegal exportation of drugs from India to Nigeria as part of efforts to protect Nigeria’s economy.

“Our objective is to degrade the activities of smugglers through aggressive patrol of all flanks and flashpoints.

“We will be very ruthless with these economic saboteurs because we have a responsibility to protect the nation’s economy in line with the expectations of the Federal Government of Nigeria”, he said.

He however warned smugglers to desist from the act while commending other security agencies for their continued cooperation.

” I wish to advise and warn smugglers and would be smugglers to be prepared for the battle ahead because we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to up the ante of our anti smuggling mandate, ” Lawal said.

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