NDLEA Seizes Four Tonnes of Tra­madol at La­gos Air­port


Chinedu Eze

The fight against drugs ad­dic­tion in Nige­ria may be a hard task to ac­com­plish as the Na­tional Drug Law En­force­ment Agency (NDLEA) yes­ter­day an­nounced the seizure of four tonnes of im­ported Tra­madol tablets at the shed of Sky­way Avi­a­tion Han­dling Com­pany Lim­ited (SAHCOL) at the Mur­tala Muhammed In­ter­na­tional Air­port (MMIA), La­gos.

The agency said what was telling about the drugs was that each dosage is 250 mil­ligramme, 150 mil­ligrammes above the dosage rec­om­mended for med­i­cal pur­poses, as it also an­nounced that the drugs it con­fis­cated from the La­gos air­port in 2017 was worth over N1 bil­lion by their street value.

NDLEACom­mand, MMIA, Mr. Ah­madu Garba, told jour­nal­ists in La­gos that the agency was un­able to trace the im­porter of the il­licit drugs, but noted that no clearing agent showed up to clear the drugs, which was im­ported into the coun­try in two batches from In­dian late April, 2018.

Garba ex­plained that the seized con­sign­ments were im­ported into the coun­try through the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE) air­line, Eti­had Cargo, adding that it knew about the drugs through in­tel­li­gence re­port from its foreign part­ners who no­ti­fied it of the im­pend­ing ar­rival of the il­licit drugs.

He said the ap­proved mil­ligrams for Tra­madol by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment was 50m and 100m, but stressed that the seized con­sign­ment was 250m, which in­di­cated that the im­porter in­ten­tion­ally im­ported the high mil­ligrams for wrong pur­pose.

Ac­cord­ing to Garba, the first batch of the two con­sign­ments arrived in Nige­ria on April 23, 2018, while the sec­ond con­sign­ment arrived on April 25 at the air­port.

“The seizure was re­cov­ered from SAHCOL Im­port shed at MMIA on May 17, 2018 ,by NDLEA based on in­tel­li­gence from our foreign coun­ter­parts,” he said.

He ex­plained that its of­fi­cials had laid siege at the shed of the ground han­dling com­pany since the first batch of the con­sign­ments arrived the coun­try and waited for the im­porter or the clearing agent to come for­ward for clear­ance, but no one came to claim them.

He said: “We col­lected the con­sign­ments from SAHCOL shed to­day (yes­ter­day) sign­ment even be­fore it arrived in the coun­try through our foreign in­tel­li­gence. Since then, we have been mon­i­tor­ing it and waited for ei­ther the im­porter or any clearing agent to come for­ward for clear­ance, but no one came.

‘The ap­proved dosage for Tra­mador is be­tween 50m and 100m, but what thee im­porter brought into the coun­try was 250m, which is above the ap­proved mil­ligrams by the gov­ern­ment. The to­tal way­bills were five.

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