FOU Customs steps up patrol surveillance on waterways
.Says smugglers in creeks must face arrest, prosecution
By Udeme Clement
The Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has stepped up patrol surveillance on waterways and creeks within its zone of operations, in order to curtail rice smuggling through the creeks.
A credible Source disclosed this to Financial Business over the weekend, stressed that the action becomes imperative to tackle nefarious activities of smugglers, who have diverted their illicit business from some land borders to the creeks, for fear of being caught by security operatives at border points.
The credible Source further revealed that the current Roving Team of FOU Zone ‘A’ under the supervision of Chief Superintendent of Customs, Riks Lura is fearless, and has well trained officers who are very skillful in the job. As such, hard time awaits smugglers still operating within the zone.
Financial Business gathered that some of the spots where the Customs operatives are beaming their searchlight include Isasi creek located within Iyana Isasi community, along Lagos Badagry expressway, Yekeme creek, Alaba market waterfront, Choki creek, Ijofins creeks and other creeks within Badagry axis, where smugglers use as regular routes for smuggling foreign rice from Republic of Benin to Lagos markets.
When contacted, the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of FOU Zone ‘A’, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, said he would not reveal their operational strategies, emphasizing that their strategies must not be made known to public, as smugglers have their own informants giving them information about movement of Customs at waterways.
However, Comptroller Uba warned smugglers to desist from sabotaging the efforts of government in growing local industries. He stressed that Customs would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute smugglers caught at the creeks or anywhere else smuggling prohibited items into the country.
Comptroller Uba said, “Government’s policy on local rice production is yielding positive results. Let us support this policy for our local industries to thrive and create jobs for our people, instead of working against it”.
It could be recalled that only last week, FOU Zone ‘A’ intercepted 815 bags of foreign rice, fully loaded in five locally made boats at Isasi, Iyana Isasi creek, a community along Lagos Badagry expressway.