By Eromosele Abiodun
The Nigerian Custom Service (NCS), Tin Can Island Port command has arrested some officials of Nigerite Nigeria Limited over alleged undeclared goods suspected to be narcotics shipped into Nigeria.
The consignment, the NCS said, was imported alongside Virgin Cellulose Tasman, which is a raw material for a manufacturing giant, Nigerite Nigeria Limited.
The customs said there were eight bags with each bag carrying 25 of the substances, and none was manifested.
The substance, which came from New Zealand in container number CMAU 045195/0, is known to be highly condensed.
The container, which belongs to the Nigerite is among other 17x 20 foot containers.
NDLEA officers said that a proper test would be carried out in the laboratory to ascertain what the substance is.
The Controller of the Tin Can Island Customs Command, Mr. Yusuf Bashar told journalists that the customs picked interest in that particular container because of the intelligence that was attached to it.
Bashar said the intelligence report indicated there were substances that were not manifested in the container.
Following the discovery, NDLEA officers were invited to the port to make necessary, examination, analysis and investigation and give feedback on the consignment.
The idea is to confirm from the agency if the substances were injurious to this nation or not, he said.
Bashar explained that the result of the investigation and analysis will determine the action to be taken in the case of similar consignment of unidentified substances.
He said the owner of the consignment will have a lot of explanations to offer as the consignment was not in the manifest.
According to him, “If it is a mistake, they will put in writing but if pirate put it on the high sea, then someone must explain and other agencies will take it up from there.”
The Controller called for inter-agency collaboration, stressing that all agencies must work in synergy to move the nation forward, adding that whatever involves other agencies would be handed over to them.
He added: “We normally hand over cases or consignments which we know are for other agencies. We did the same with SON, NAFDAC, NISREA and we have done so again with the NDLEA.”
He disclosed that not too long ago, some weapons discovered in certain vehicles were handed over to Nigerian Police and the State Security Service agent.
He advised importers to present their proper documentation so that their lawful trade will be facilitated.
“All we are calling for in Tin- can and generally, in Custom formation is that people should be transparent. Those who invest their money in cross border trade should present all their documentation and ensure whatever is in the consignment is stated clearly because those that are not stated clearly are even injurious to the investment because, those goods will be seized, some will be prosecuted and some will be additional payment of duties. Transparency and good documentation is what I always call for unless the law will take its cause for un-manifested product”, he said