Maersk Drugs Bust
Credit Dryad Global

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the Seme region intercepted a consignment of adult nappies in a Maersk container to find up to 100 hidden cartons of the powerful painkiller tramadol, reported security firm Dryad Global.

Customs area controller Bello Jibo said that the drugs had a value of approximately N1.45bn ($3.6m), with the container having been passed to the Nigerian authorities by the republic of Benin in mid-November.

“On 20 December, Seme customs service invited other security agencies and stakeholders to witness the examination of the container. The items discovered during the 100% examination were 200 packages of adult diapers, 100 cartons of Gabadol 120mg, suspected to be tramadol, equivalent to 360 kg,” explained Mr Jibo.

He added: “The diapers were smartly arranged at the front of the container while the drugs were at the back. I directed that samples be taken out officially and handed over to National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control to ascertain and confirm the drugs.”

No suspects have yet been arrested in connection with the seizure.

An AP Møller-Maersk spokesperson said: “We have at this point not received notice about this case and therefore cannot comment specifically on it. On a general note, Maersk is committed to conduct our business in a responsible and lawful manner, with respect for the wider economic, social, and environmental impacts of our activities.

“While it is for customs authorities to check and verify documentation and content of a container at origin and destination, Maersk has guidelines in place to guide staff on screening and handling cargo bookings, to be alert for anything unusual or suspicious.”

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