Federal Operation Unit (FOU), zone B of Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday handed over 3,790 cartons of unregistered assorted drugs to officials of National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Kaduna.
The drugs, according to the Comptroller in charge of the zone, Mohammed Sarkin-Kebbi, were seized by Customs in 2019 from a warehouse in Zaria.
Briefing Journalists while handing over the drugs to the Assistant Director of NAFDAC, Mrs Mukosolu Nzekwe, the Customs boss said, “We are here to handover 3,790 cartons of unregistered drugs that were evacuated in a warehouse in Zaria sometimes in 2019.
“We had earlier invited officials of NAFDAC in Abuja. The drugs were given laboratory test, and the test indicated that the drugs were not registered.
“The laboratory analysis showed that the drugs were not registered, and if they are not registered, they are fake.
“The Comptroller General of Customs approved that we hand over to NAFDAC. The delay in handing over was due to procedural steps leading to this handing over.
“We are intensifying our search for the culprits, and once we get them, we will handover them to NAFDAC to prosecute them. Customs does not have the mandate to prosecute offenders.
“We will continue to work with NAFDAC because the people behind the drugs are likely to surface at NAFDAC office”.
Asked what is the monetary value of the assorted drugs, Comptroller Sarkin-Kebbi said, “we don’t know the monetary value, but they are 3790 cartons of assorted drugs”.
Responding, the Assistant Director of NAFDAC, Mrs Mukosolu Nzekwe, who represented Director, North West zone, NAFDAC, Kaduna, Mr. Dauda Gimba expressed gratitude to the Customs, adding, “NAFDAC has a good working relationship with Customs. We are delighted to take over the drugs from the Customs”.
In a similar development, Comptroller Sarkin-Kebbi took Journalists round some of the seizures made in the last one week.
The seizures included 390 bags of smuggled rice, concealed in bags of beans, 101 bales of second hand clothings, another 250 bags of rice seized from a warehouse in Jibiya town of Katsina State.
Others, included 1006 cartons of tomatoes paste, seized in Kano, tins of vegetable oil, 13 vehicles, among others which import value the Customs officer put at N52, 693,000.00.
The Customs Comptroller warned smugglers to change illegal business of smuggling for legitimate ones, as he added that their days are numbered.