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NDLEA intercepts ‘100,000 bottles’ of codeine syrup at Onne seaport

More than 100,000 bottles of codeine syrup weighing 15,325 kilograms have been intercepted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Onne seaport in Rivers state.

This was disclosed by the director of media and advocacy at NDLEA, Femi Babafemi in a statement on Saturday, in Abuja.

According to the statement, the illicit substance was packaged in 500 cartons and concealed in a container bearing imported food masks made in India.

The anti-drug agency said it was discovered on Thursday in a warehouse at the port’s complex during a joint examination with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Department of State Service (DSS), and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) officers.

“The seizure followed an intelligence received by NDLEA as a result of which the container was put on hold and moved to the customers government warehouse within the port complex,” the statement reads.

“No importer or agent has however come forward in respect of the container but efforts are ongoing to track the owner for further investigation and prosecution.”

NDLEA said its operatives also seized nine cartons of ‘khat’ weighing 146.95 kilograms at the cargo wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

It said the consignment packaged as dried green tea was shipped from Addis Ababa, on board an Ethiopian airline flight.

In his reaction, Mohammed Buba Marwa, chairman/chief executive of NDLEA said: “The damage 100,000 bottles of codeine would have done to our youths if they had slipped through the port to our villages, towns and cities is unimaginable.

“146.95 kilograms of khat could have done the same damage if allowed to go into our streets”.

Marwa commended officers at the Onne port and Abuja airport command for their vigilance and commitment to the task of ridding Nigeria of illicit drugs.

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