Customs at western marine battles smugglers in creeks …Arrests 6 suspects

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Customs at western marine battles smugglers in creeks

.Arrests 6 suspects

By Asuquo Nuwak

 The Customs Area Controller ,CAC, Western Marine Command ,WMC, of Nigeria Customs Service ,NCS,  Comptroller Sarkin-kebbi Mustapha has said that the ‘Operation Total Blockage’ introduced by his Command to deter smugglers from using the waterways to bring is prohibited items into the country is yielding tremendous result.

Speaking on the performance of the Command, he said,  “WMC has taken giant strides in improving on all its statutory functions. In 2017, the Command uncovered new grounds in anti-smuggling activities and  revenue generation, which resulted in  seizure of various items including foreign rice, petroleum products, furniture components, bales of second hand clothing, sacks of second-hand bags and shoes, poultry products  and cannabis sativa. Others include sacks of second-hand foot-wear for children,  cartons of assorted medicated soaps and vegetable oil, with a Duty Paid Value ,DPV, of N529,518,169.03”.

He added,  “In 2017, the Command made 36 seizures, as against 20   recorded in 2016, with a DPV of N84.2million,  indicating tremendous improvement in our anti-smuggling operations and increase in revenue generation in 2017, when compared with the previous year”.

The CAC further disclosed that the seized items were made at different times at places like Yekeme, Gbao, Aseke, Choki, IdirokoIjofin Greeks, Badagry, Ere Water-ways, Alaba market water-se, Wekan Axis and Zamare water-front.

He went on, “Despite the challenges encountered by the Command, we were able to fix three speed boats, three patrol vehicles during  the period under review.  We also renovated the government ware-house and purchased pallets for better storage of seized items in the warehouse. This feat would not have been possible without the continuous support of the Comptroller – General of Customs ,CGC, Hameed Ali”.

“However, the challenges still facing the Command include inadequate patrol boats as well as high cost of repair/maintenance of existing operational boats. Another thing is the urgent need of office space for officers at Ibafon”.

He called on the Service for increment in expenditure to enable the Command carry out more repairs of the boats for operational efficiency.

The CAC believes that with the support being enjoyed from the top management, WMC  will intensify efforts this 2018, to achieve and even surpass it  target.

Sadly , he recalled that the Command lost 2 officers in 2017.

Meanwhile, the case of six suspects charged to court for smuggling 333 bags of foreign rice is on-going.







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