Tramadol seizure in Ambulance: Apapa Customs Controller talks tough
.Says N59.3m tramadol still missing
.Culprits must face prosecution, Says Comptroller Abba-Kura
By Udeme Clement
As investigation into the mind boggling seizure of over N2.8million tramadol made by Apapa Customs in Ambulance at Lagos port continues, the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of the Command, Comptroller Muhammed Abba-Kura is talking tough, emphasising that all those found culpable must be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.
He made this assertion at a press conference yesterday, revealing that 211 cartons of the drugs with Duty Paid Value, DPV, of over N59.3million were missing from the undeclared container.
His explanation, “This is another form of economic sabotage. On the night of Friday July 12, 2019, at about 2300hours, my officers on routine surveillance intercepted an ambulance suspected to be laden with offensive articles of trade.
“Upon examination, the said ambulance was found with 10 cartons of 225mg Tramadol tablets valued at over N2.8millon.
“Two male suspects, the driver and escort were arrested along with the ambulance. You would recall that the Federal Government through National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Conrol, NAFDAC banned importation of tramadol in excess of 100mg.”
He frowned, “It is regrettable to state here that while Customs is working round the clock to free this country of illicit goods, some unpatriotic citizens are not relenting in their desperate urge to sabotage our efforts”.
He informed, “The Command’s strategy of 24 hours surveillance in and around the port continues to yield desired results”.
He enthused, “I cannot conclude this briefing without stating that the Command collected N20billion in the last 12 working days, from July 1 to 15, 2019.”
“The smiling face and stylistic movement that tall Comptroller Abba-Kura used last week to enter the conference room for announcement of N203billion revenue collection by his team was not the same yesterday, when he disclosed seizure of over N2.8million tramadol concealed in Ambulance.
Yesterday, the atmosphere at Apapa Command was charged, as Comptroller Abba-Kura stormed into the conference room like a “Combatant Soldier” ready for war. First, he adjusted his eye-classes to sit properly on his face, as he sat down. Next, he roared while addressing news men on what he described as economic sabotage to government.
Infact, the press briefing took a new dimension when inquisitive maritime Journalists asked the CAC if there could be any internal collaboration.
At that point, Comptroller Abba-Kura charged, firing back with questions that kept the whole conference room in absolute silence.
Who broke the seal of the container? Who changed it? Who removed the original seal? Who tampered with the undeclared container? Who removed the stolen 211 cartons of the tramadol drugs?
While Abba-Kura answered all the questions Journalists asked him, nobody was able to attempt any of his questions.
He roared again, “Investigation is on-going and the suspects have a lot of questions to answer. Those culpable must be prosecuted. No stone will be left unturned. We must get to the root of this economic sabotage.”
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