By Samson Echenim
Popular Nigerian transport company, Chisco Nigeria Limited has debunked allegations that it was involved in cross-border smuggling of Tramadol and amphetamine into Nigeria.
- The Seme Border command of Nigeria Customs Service on Monday at a press conference said it had impounded two buses belonging to Chisco transport company for carrying 42 cartons of amphetamine syrup which have a cumulative value of about N6 million and 422,500mg of Tramadol.
However, responding to a business a.m. inquiry through email, Ngozi Nwoke, head, Public Relations at Chisco, said the buses were not carrying Tramadol, but only 12 cartons of a multivitamin syrub called Apetamin.
She however, confirmed that the buses were confiscated, but added that the company had secured release of the buses.
“This is to inform you that thorough investigations have been conducted with regards to your media inquiry over the confiscation of Chisco buses by the Nigeria Customs in Seme border. It is a fact that two Chisco buses were confiscated. However, the buses only contained 12 cartons of multivitamins syrup called “Apetamin supplement” which is basically used for loss of appetite.
“Therefore, the allegation that the buses contained “Tramadol” a contraband product, is absolutely false and never occurred at any point. Emphatically, according to reports from the Chisco Chief Security Officer, the deputy custom comptroller, Seme border, has confirmed this information and the release of the alleged confiscated buses, as well as drivers,” Nwoke stated in the email to our correspondent.
The Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Command told journalists at a press briefing on Monday that it intercepted and confiscated two buses belonging to Chisco Transport Nigeria Limited for illicit cross-border drug smuggling.
Dalha Cheidi Wada, acting area controller of Seme Command, said the buses were loaded with a total 42 cartons of amphetamine syrup which have a cumulative value of about N6 million. He said the buses were also loaded with 422,500mg of tramadol.
Wada noted that in addition to breaching policy on border closure, which prohibits imports and exports in and out of Nigeria, the drugs were without National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) registration number.
“Such volume of prohibited drugs, if allowed to come into the country can cause harm to the people and capable of destroying lives of many youths due to reported widespread abuse,” the controller noted.
According to Wada, the command had seized prohibited goods worth over N91 million recently, as smugglers remain desperately in business.
“Officers and men of Seme command are not unaware of these desperate groups of unpatriotic citizens. Therefore, we have resolved never to lose guard in watching them day and night leading to arrest and seizures of 235 contraband with total duty paid value of N91.16 million,” he said.