The Tin Can Island Port Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted and handed over 200 parcels of substance suspected to be cocaine to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Briefing newsmen at the command yesterday, Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar said the substance concealed in a 20-foot container with registration no CMAU 045195/0 was shipped into the country from New Zealand by Nigerite Nigeria Limited.
The Controller had earlier said the substance in the container was unknown but was later subjected to field test by officers of NDLEA who declared the substance as cocaine.
He said officers of the command had received intelligence on one out of the seventeen containers imported by the company adding that after examination, they found eight bags in the said container, which were not declared and each of the bags contained 25 packs of the drug substance.
He said, “The substance is not known, it is highly condensed and it is not manifested in the consignment. The container was among other seventeen containers but this was picked because of the intelligence attached to it.
“It was packed along other products in the container that were manifested called ‘Virgin Cellulose Tassma for cement’.”
He said Nigerite, which is enjoying the fast track facility will be removed from the scheme and prosecuted accordingly for concealment.
Bashir called for synergy and collaboration by all regulatory agencies in the country to move the nation forward.
“This one involves the NDLEA so we are handing it over to them so that they would analyse in their laboratory and give us feedback,” he said.
Also speaking with journalists, Head of NDLEA at Tin Can Island Port, Danladi Yashim assured that the agency will carry out preliminary test on the suspected cargo and continue investigations.
Meanwhile, Procurement Manager of Nigerite Nigeria Limited, Jonah Amata who was present at the port denied knowledge of the drugs in the container.
Jonah said the company was not aware of the items found in the bags.
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