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Customs seize N20m fake malaria drugs

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The Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has seized over 33 cartons of alleged substandard anti-malaria drugs and antibiotics valued at N20m.

The command equally confiscated 500 bags of smuggled rice.

The drugs were said to have been intercepted at the Idiroko border area, while the rice was seized after operatives of the command raided an illegal warehouse at Okere Creek, near Bawe Gbo, in the Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The Customs Area Controller, Multafu Waindu, explained on Tuesday that the operatives, acting on a tip-off, invaded the warehouse, where smuggled bags of rice with duty value of N5.1m were seized.

He added that the bags of rice and the fake drugs had been taken to the customs office at Idiroko.

He said, “Customs operatives raided the warehouse at Okere Creek last week, which led to the seizure of 500 bags of smuggled rice with duty paid value of N5.1m.

“As for the seized 33 cartons of substandard drugs, they were illegally brought into the country through the Nigeria/ Republic of Benin border. The medicaments include six cartons of Fluclox injection, six cartons of Meropen injection, four cartons of Gold win dusting powder, four cartons of Ondecan injection, five cartons of Meropen injection, seven cartons Himadium capsules, and six cartons of Artemether anti-malaria injection, among others, all valued at N20m.

“The fake drugs were on onward transportation into the country to be sold in the open market.”

The area controller, who later handed over the consignment of the confiscated drugs to the representative of National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control, reiterated that the command would not relent in its efforts to curtail smuggling in the state.

The Officer-in-Charge, Port Inspection Directorate of NAFDAC in Idiroko, Mr.Datol Andrew, said the action of the Customs men would save over a million people from falling victims to the fake drugs.

He expressed his disappointment that the importer of the substandard drugs was not nabbed, adding that his punishment would have served as a deterrent to others who engage in such act.

Andrew said NAFDAC would continue to partner the customs to prevent illicit drugs and foodstuffs from finding their way into the country.

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