Tin Can Customs Intercepts N550m Tramadol, Rejects 50m bribe from Importer

Tin Can Customs Intercepts N550m Tramadol, Rejects 50m bribe from Importer
Joy Mmereole Okoli
The Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Command in a remarkable display of surveillance has Intercepted  two forty feet containers laden with unregistered drugs valued at N550M at the Tin Can Island Port Command.
The Customs Area Controller, TCIP, Comptroller Olakunle Oloyede revealed this at a press briefing in Lagos today. He mentioned that its officers have intercepted two 40ft containers with container numbers; MRSU 592397/0 and MRKU 553432/1 from India. He said two suspects were arrested following the seizures.
According to Oloyede, one of the suspects, Mr.Boniface Ike, claimed to be the importer of the two seized containers and sought to bribe Customs officers with $54,300 equivalent to N50million.
"Following an intensive surveillance operation on a routine examination carried out at Tincan Island Container Terminal on Container No. TTNU 804678/9 with declaration lodged on SGD CNo: 70754 of 24/08/2023, the Container was found to contain Frozen Poultry Products. Single Goods Declaration (SGD) other supporting documents (Form M and PAAR) stated Tangerines which was used to conceal the frozen poultry products actually imported. 
“The goods were falsely declared as they are Import Prohibition (Trade), the Container has been seized for the contravention of Section 233 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act (2023).
"The Unregistered' pharmaceutical products intercepted are regulated products by NAFDAC and didn't have the required permits and certificates for importation in which the documents are to ascertain the safety of the products to Nigerians, hence these illicit dangerous drugs were concealed.
"Two suspects have been arrested and are presently at the custody of the Enforcement Unit in accordance with the investigation process of the Service. One of the suspects in custody, Mr. Boniface Ike accepted that he is the owner (Importer) of the two containers and sought to discuss privately with OC Enforcement DC GI Aliyu and Team Manager CIU AC H Abubakar.
“ I instructed my officers to play along, the request was granted in expectation of receiving vital information from the suspect but to their bewilderment, the suspect pleaded for his freedom from detention and release of the containers while offering gratification to the tune of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira only) (as displayed) equivalent to $54,330 (Fifty-Four Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty Dollars only) at the current exchange rate N920. The money was collected and kept in safe custody at the Enforcement Unit to be tendered as exhibit.
"The Nigeria Customs Service will not be a part of nefarious acts which will jeopardize the safety and lives of the citizens of our dear country, Nigeria, any fraudulent importer or agent who tries to perpetrate such acts will be prosecuted accordingly.
"All information on the said has been forwarded to the NCS Headquarters, Abuja and an approval was granted for this press conference.
"The suspects, containers and the exhibit will be handed over to the Agencies that are in charge of regulation of such importation as soon as the Service directs and the Service may decide to prosecute according to the Service Act, Nigeria Customs Service Act (2023)."

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