Customs Foils N550 Million Tramadol Smuggling Attempt, Uncovers $54,300 Bribery Plot


The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin-Can Island Command, has made a significant seizure by intercepting illicit drugs worth N550 million at the Lagos Port. In a press briefing held in Lagos, Compt. 


Adekunle Oloyede, the Customs Area Controller of Tin-Can Island Port, disclosed that the command apprehended a Nigerian importer, identified only as Boniface, for attempting to bribe officers with $54,330 (equivalent to N50 million) following the seizure of two 40ft containers containing unregistered pharmaceutical products imported from India.


The illicit drugs, disguised as electrical appliances, were concealed within the containers and lacked the required permits and certificates for lawful importation. 


The Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) alerted the command about the suspected drug importation, prompting a swift response.


Upon the arrival of the containers at the Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT), they were swiftly transferred to an enforcement station for thorough examination. 


The contents of the bill of lading indicated that the shipments contained electrical goods, but the examination revealed a different story. 


The first container held five cartons of timaking 120 tapentadol (Tramadol) hydrochloride carisoprodol capsules, while the second container held 10 cartons of Tramadol, each containing 50 rolls, 10 packets per roll, and 10 tablets per packet.


Two suspects were apprehended in connection with the smuggling attempt and were placed in the custody of the Enforcement Unit for further investigation. 


One of the suspects, Boniface Ike, who claimed ownership of the containers, was found attempting to privately discuss the matter with enforcement officials. In a twist, Ike offered a bribe of N50 million (approximately $54,330) to secure his release and the release of the containers. 


The money was collected and preserved as evidence.


Compt. Adekunle Oloyede emphasized the NCS’s commitment to combating smuggling activities and ensuring the safety of Nigerians.


 He stated that any individual involved in fraudulent acts would face appropriate legal action, and the suspects, containers, and seized items would be handed over to the relevant regulatory agencies for further processing.


The NCS remains resolute in upholding the law and protecting the well-being of the citizens of Nigeria, taking a strong stance against any attempts to compromise safety and security for personal gain.


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