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How Police Caught A Major Importer Of Fake Drugs In Eleganza Plaza Lagos

Adulterated contraband abortion, tramadol, codeine and other sundry pharmaceutical products have been intercepted by Police operatives in Lagos.

Two suspects linked to the intercepted container loaded with ‘counterfeit contraband’ drugs have however been arrested.

It was learnt that Police operatives attached to the Area B Command, Apapa, Lagos, intercepted the Seaco container with tons of suspected adulterated and contraband drugs.

The container was shipped from Asia. It carried cartons of scrubbing brushes carefully packed to conceal the contraband and counterfeit drugs.

A police patrol team discovered the container inside Eleganza Plaza in Apapa, while it was offloading the goods into another truck without clearance from the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and bill of landing of the container with number SEGU 6326800.

When the operatives suspected that the container might have been stolen, the detectives, requested to see the NSC personnel escorting it to a BCT in order to know why it was diverted to the plaza, but there was none.

Following their suspicions, they impounded two trucks with registration numbers KTU216XG and SNK700XV.

They also conducted a search on them. This led to the discovery of the abortion pills, tramadol, cough syrup with codeine which are contraband drugs as well as suspected adulterated GSK and other brands of medications.

The suspected counterfeit drugs were produced in Pakistan. That trend appears to be a regular practice among dealers, who flood Nigerian markets, with a lesser quality of branded medicines to make profit.

These dealers are alleged to operate in concert with terminal operators and NSC officers who usually assist them to move their containers unnoticed.

A police source revealed that since the interception, top ranking security officers have allegedly called the police command to beg and offer bribes, which were said to have been turned down.

Already, the police said they have arrested one Uchenna Oreator who claimed to be the importer and one Uche Nwankwo, said to have acted as clearing agent for the container.

According to Oreator, he got the drugs from Pakistan at cheaper rates and was introduced into the business by some operators in the market. He claimed to have gotten the consignments on credit and was expected to pay the company in Pakistan after he must have sold them.

“I am the owner of the container. I imported the drugs from Pakistan. They were not declared because we only declared the brushes. I got them way cheaper than what the manufacturers in Nigeria are selling them. I am sorry, I know that what I did was bad. It was my first time doing it. I am sorry,” he said.

Asked how the container left the APMT Terminal at the Port without relevant documents, Oreator said he did not know as his agent was the one he sent money and other necessary details.

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Written by Mateen Badru

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