How Western Marine Customs is chasing smugglers at creeks
By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Western Marine Command ,WMC, of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Ibafon Apapa Lagos, has mapped out new operational strategies in tackling smuggling at the waterways, and the new techniques are yielding tremendous results with massive seizures recorded by the Command in the last few weeks.
Some of the recent seizures recorded by the Command include smuggled foreign rice and vegetable oil, along Bawe and Akere creeks through intelligence signal.
Speaking, the Customs Area Controller, CAC, Comptroller Sarkin-kebbi, M.M, disclosed that the massive seizures were made within just one week of operations, even as he warned smugglers to desist from nefarious activities at the creeks and waterways.
He said, “A total of 571 bags of foreign rice (50kg each) and 49 kegs of vegetable oil (25kg litres each) were seized. The total Duty paid value ,DPV, for the items is N7.6million”
He pointed out, “Our Command headquarters join-patrol teams on a routine 24hours patrol of the water-ways and creeks intercepted the smuggled items within Bawe/Akere creeks. The smugglers being experts on water, abandoned the items on loaded wooden canoes and dived into the waters”.
According to the CAC, “The above seizures indicated that the new strategies introduced by the Command are yielding good results. Our determination to suppress smuggling activities through the water-ways will continue strongly, even as the 24hours patrol of the creeks and the water-ways is on-going”.
The CAC enjoins the media and other stakeholders in the maritime industry to assist the Command always with useful information and proper enlightenment of the public on the Command’s anti-smuggling activities.