Customs raid warehouse in Gombe, seize N7m tramadol, diazepam

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Joint operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abuja Headquarters and the Federal Operations Unit, Zone D, Bauchi, have seized drugs worth N7 million from a warehouse in Gombe.

The Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone D, Peters Olugboyega, disclosed this while handing over the drugs to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, at the Zonal headquarters in Bauchi.

He informed reporters that the command seized 840 packets of Tramadol (120mg) and 4,437 packets of Diazepam valued at N7, 350, 000.

“On Thursday, 13th September, 2018, the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service Abuja Headquarters Information Patrol left Abuja and invited the Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone D, Bauchi, to a joint raid on suspected hard drugs being deposited in a store around Tudun Wada area of Gombe state.

“The joint Operatives raided the store and were able to evacuate hard drugs comprising of Tramadol 120mg and Diazepam,” Olugboyega said.

He said that a suspect had been arrested during the raid and was in custody.

Describing the drugs as psychoactive, psycho-pharmaceutical drugs that can affect brain function, Olugboyega explained that Diazepam is a medicine of Benzodiazepine family that typically produces a calming effect while tramadol is an opioid pain medication, used to treat and relieve severe pain.

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“These are controlled drugs, you can imagine the havoc they may cause if drugs of such magnitude find their way into our society.

“Today, the Federal Government is worried about the damaging effects these hard drugs are causing in our society.

“Therefore, the task to salvage the youths and even some adults of this country from the menace of drug peddlers is a collective one and non-negotiable,” he stated.

The Custom Boss added that the drugs were classified under Common External Tariff, Heading 3004 at 0% Duty and no VAT, but must have a permit before importation under the NAFDAC Narcotic Control.

He said that the action of the operatives was in line with the provisions of Section 8 of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 laws of the Constitution which empowered them to have powers of police officers, search premises and patrol freely.

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In a brief remark after taking custody of the items, the Exhibit Officer of the NDLEA who represented the State Commander, Nasiru Babura, promised that the agency would carry out a thorough investigation before taking the suspect to court.

He said the NDLEA was worried about the activities of drug peddlers and users as the 2019 general elections approach. However, he pointed out that the agency had plans to reduce the circulation of drugs at all channels.

Babura, a Superintendent of Narcotics, warned that any person caught importing, supplying, transporting or abusing drugs will be prosecuted.

He also counselled that drug traffickers should consider themselves as parents and “as the drugs they import could end up destroying close members of their family.”