· As Customs Intercepts Ambulance With N2.8m Tramadol
By Kenneth Jukpor
One of the leading terminal operators in the country, AP Moller Terminals has been linked to a shocking seizure as the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) foiled attempts by some suspects to smuggle 10 cartons of 225mg tramadol tablets valued at N2.8 million out of the Apapa port, using an ambulance.
Although the illicit act hasn’t been explicitly linked to the giant container terminal company, the seized Hyundai Ambulance with registration number LND605XW belonged to Medbury Medical Services, an industrial medical services provider contracted to AP Moller Terminal.
The Area Commander, Compt. Mohammed Abba-Kura, revealed this while addressing newsmen during a press briefing, explaining that the officers were on routine surveillance when they suspected the vehicle laden with the prohibited articles of trade, attributing it to the command’s 24-hour surveillance in and around the port.
Compt. Abba-Kura admonished the terminal to scrutinize the activities of all categories of employees, while he assured that the Command is working assiduously to ascertain the level of involvement of other members of staff at AP Moller Terminal.
He also noted that the two suspects, Michael Ajibade (driver) and Olatunde Emmanuel (escort) gave very useful information that led the Customs to profile the container which was examined the following day.
The suspects were said to have been intercepted by customs officers at 11p.m last Friday on their way out of the port in the ambulance, which was usually stationed at the port complex for medical emergencies.
The CAC said, “Physical examination further revealed that 211 cartons of the drugs were missing from the container. The Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the stolen drugs stands at (approximately) N59.4 million”
During interrogation by journalists, the driver, Ajibade – an elderly man – denied knowledge of the content of the 10 cartons, stating that his yet-to-be-identified principal(s) promised him N2,000 just to take the items across the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) gate.
Similarly, the dockworker, who escorted the articles, said he was promised N50,000.
Abba-Kura also revealed that the command generated N20.02 billion in the last 12 working days from July 1 to 15, having earlier declared a half-year generated revenue of N203 billion.