The Federal Operations Unit, Zone “C” of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 1,024 cartons of fake pharmaceutical products and other contraband goods worth over N869 million.
The Comptroller, Yusuf Lawal, said in Owerri, Imo State, that the fake pharmaceutical products and other contraband were intercepted between January 1 and January 31.
Other items seized by the unit, Lawal said, included 1,046 bags of foreign parboiled rice worth N31,380,000 and 62 jumbo bales of used clothing worth N7,800,000.
Also seized were 290 cartons of foreign Eva soap worth N4,176,000 and a Toyota Corolla 2018 model worth N7,354,345.
Lawal said the pharmaceutical products, imported from India without NAFDAC certification, were intercepted on the Ofosu –Benin Expressway and the cartons of soap on the Aba-Owerri Road.
He explained that soaps and detergents were still on the import prohibition list in line with schedule 3 of Common External Tariff.
Lawal said that the bags of parboiled rice, suspected to be smuggled products, were stored in a warehouse on the Elelenwo Road, Port Harcourt.
According to him, the unit followed laid down rules of engagement, backed by sections 147 and 151 of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 LFN 2004.
He assured that the importers of the unregistered Colcaps medicaments and their accomplices would be unravelled, adding that the negative effects of unlicensed drugs in the wrong hands could not be quantified.
Lawal said the drugs would be handed over to authorities of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for necessary checks.
The comptroller said the service would work with relevant authorities in India to tackle illegal export of drugs from India to Nigeria as part of efforts to protect Nigeria’s economy.
“Our objective is to degrade the activities of smugglers through aggressive patrol of all flanks and flashpoints.
“We will be very ruthless with these economic saboteurs because we have a responsibility to protect the nation’s economy in line with the expectations of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.
Lawal, who warned smugglers to desist from the act, acknowledged other security agencies for their support.