The Tin-can Island command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it discovered substance ssuspected to be cocaine in container imports brought into the country by Ikeja based multinational, Nigerite Limited.
This was even as the company said it was not aware of the substances found in the containers.
Speaking during a press briefing held in Lagos yesterday, the Customs Area Controller, Tin-Can Island, Comptroller Yusuf Bashir stated that the substance will be forwarded to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for proper testing to verify its true nature.
Comptroller Bashir said officers of the Command had received intelligence reports on one out of the seven containers imported by Nigerite company.
He said the other items inside the container were declared correctly but that the sack containing the suspected drugs were not declared on the cargo manifest.
He said that Nigerite Limited will be removed from the customs fast track scheme and will be prosecuted accordingly.
According to Bashir, “One of the containers brought into the country by Nigerite, from the intelligence we received, is carrying the substance which we are yet to verify its true nature. It is a highly condensed substance which was not manifested in the containers that were brought in by Nigerite.
“The container with number CMAU045195/0 22G1, was a 20ft container which cargo clearance was handled on behalf of Nigerite by Elevations Transaction Limited.
“Nigerite enjoys the Customs fast track, so their imports are not subjected to examinations at the ports but at their warehouse. The cargoes would have passed through the ports but for eagle eyed officials of the NCS who demanded the examination of one of the containers.
“On inspection, it was discovered that the substance were concealed in bags inside the container and were not manifested as part of the container contents. The substances were concealed in 8 bags inside the container. Each of the 8 bags contained 200 pieces of the unknown and highly compressed substance.Also speaking with journalists, Head of NDLEA at Tin Can Island Port, Mr. Danladi Yashim assured that the agency will carry out preliminary test on the suspected cargo and continue investigations.
Meanwhile, the Procurement Manager of Nigerite Nigeria Limited, Mr. Jonah Amata who was present at the port denied knowlege of the drugs in the container.