The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA, has intercepted 100,000 bottles of codeine syrup with a total weight of 15,325 kilograms at the Onne seaport in Rivers State.
The illicit substance, a cough syrup with codeine (100mg), packed in 500 cartons and concealed in a container marked MRKU 1565305, bearing imported food masks made in India, was discovered on Thursday, June 10, 2021 in a warehouse at the Onne port complex during a joint examination with officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Department of State Service (DSS), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), among others.
NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, said the seizure followed an intelligence received by NDLEA, as a result of which the container was put on hold and moved to the Customs government warehouse within the port complex.
He said no importer or agent has, however, come forward in respect of the container but efforts were ongoing to track the owner for further investigation and prosecution.
In a related development, NDLEA operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (NAIA), have seized nine cartons of khat, weighing 146.95kilograms at the cargo wing of the airport.
The consignment packaged as dried green tea was shipped from Addis Ababa, on board an Ethiopian Airline Flight ET911.
After initial examination and suspicion, a clearing agent was asked to report with the consignee before the release but failed to do so for fear of arrest, a development that led to a laboratory test on the consignment, which tested positive to khat and the eventual seizure.
Reacting to the interceptions, chairman/chief executive of NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), said: “the damage 100,000 bottles of codeine would have done to our youths if they had slipped through the port to our villages, towns and cities is unimaginable. 146.95 kilograms of khat could have done the same damage if allowed to go into our streets.
“We will continue to motivate our officers and men so that they can give their best in the discharge of their responsibilities across the country and ultimately with the support of all our stakeholders and partners, well win the battle against illicit drug trafficking and abuse.”