Ahead of next month’s general election, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has intercepted hard drugs, and military and police hardware at the cargo section of the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

The Muritala Muhammed Airport Command (MMAC) of NCS also generated N69.77 billion between January to December 2022 against the N55.67 billion generated in the year 2021 while it arrested two suspects in connection with some seized items.

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, the Customs Area Controller of the Muritala Muhammed Airport Command (MMAC), Compt. Sambo Dangaladima, said the drugs consist of 162 cartons of banned Tramadol hydrochloride 225 and 250mg, military and police hardware which were intercepted at the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO).

He said the hard drugs originated from India and Pakistan and were routed through Addis-Ababa, and had an estimated Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N13.8billion which included 92,387 packs, 929,970 sachets and 9,299,700 tablets.

On the hard drugs, the CAC said: “These milligrams (225 & 250mg) are above allowable thresholds as contained in the extant laws. The hard drugs originated from India and Pakistan and they are routed through Addis-Ababa to Lagos. In summary, we have a total of 162 cartons/92,387 packs/929,970 sachets /9,299,700 tablets of Tramadol Hydrochloride with a DPV of N13.8billion which will be handed over to NDLEA by this Command,” he said.

According to him, the command is also handing over a suspect by the name, Samson Olayiwan Tantolohun, of 29 Okejide Street, Ejigbo, Lagos.

Speaking on the military and police hardware, he said 309 pieces of Military helmets; 106 pieces of Military Armless Jackets; 352 pieces of ballistic body armoured pads and 119 pieces of Police Badges were intercepted.

Other contrabands intercepted were five pieces of bulletproof jackets; 33 pieces of body side ballistic pads and 105 pieces of ballistic chest plates, he added.

Customs intercepts military and police hardware, hard drugs at Lagos airport

The Customs CAC said that a suspect, Olaolu Marquis, was arrested for inability to provide End Users Certificate, saying the service is empowered by section 46B of the Customs Excise and Management Act.

“We intercepted and detained some Military hardware and uniforms from two AWBs,118-11860343/3 and118-18860332/5, with the following 309 pieces of military helmets; 106 pieces of Military Armless Jackets; 352 pieces of ballistic body armoured pads and 119 pieces of Police Badges.

“Others are five pieces of bulletproof jackets; 33 pieces of body side ballistic pads and 105 pieces of ballistic chest plates. 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, Mr Olaolu Marquis, and the military wares while the investigation is ongoing.

“We are very much mindful of the fact that 2023 is an election year in Nigeria, and the inflow of traffic of these hard drugs that induce our youths to do extraordinary things (when taken) is bound to increase. I can assure the unscrupulous importers that MMAC is the most dangerous route for their illicit trade because we are always here to catch them and ensure that they face the wrath of the law,” he said.

He said the revenue generated shows an overwhelming increase of N14.1 billion representing 25.34 per cent, adding that the 2022 yearly target was N66.9 billion but the Command surpassed the target with N2.83 billion representing 4.24 per cent increase.

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