Hard time awaits smugglers at creeks .Western marine Customs maps new strategies to tackle illicit trade on waterways .Seizes hard drugs, N197million contraband

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Hard time awaits smugglers at creeks

.Western marine Customs maps new strategies to tackle illicit trade on waterways

.Seizes hard drugs, N197million contraband

.Segment-2 Report

By Udeme Clement

Hard drugs seized by the Command:
Seized rice:

Hard time awaits smugglers operating within the creeks and waterways, as the Western Marine Command, WMC, of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, is mapping out news operational strategies to curb illicit trade at the creeks.

The Customs Area Controller, CAC, of WMC, Comptroller B. N. Binga, disclosed this to news men at a press briefing in Lagos, warning that his men will leave no stone unturned in seizing prohibited items and arresting smugglers at the creeks, to serve as deterrent to others.

In the same vein, the Command intercepted Cannabis Sativa (Indian Hemp), secondhand clothing, vegetable oil, bags of sugar, shoes, hand bags, foreign rice, furniture components, belts and other items with Duty Paid Value, DPV, of over N197.88million (approximately N197.9million) within few months.

During the briefing, Comptroller Binga took Journalists round the Command’s warehouse where the seizures were kept.   It was observed that the warehouse was filled to the brim with prohibited items, especially foreign rice, leaving no space at all.

The WMC CAC called on States given allocation of items for IDPs to evacuate such items, as soon as possible.

Comptroller Binga mentioned office accommodation, dearth of operational tools, such as boats and patrol vehicles as some of the challenges facing WMC, saying these challenges impact negatively on efficiency of anti-smuggling activities of the Command.

On measures taken by his Command to increase operational effectiveness since he came on board, Comptroller Binga said, “We have been able to repair three boats, not minding the cost implication, just to check-mate smugglers at the creeks. Also, two vehicles were repaired to support our anti-smuggling operations.”

He stressed, “With continuous support from the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC, Ali Hameed and his management team in areas of promotion, welfare of officers, supply of vehicles, the Command would improve on its present achievements, in order to surpass its target”.

Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer, PRO, of WMC, Mr. N. E. Tangwa, explained that Comptroller Binga resumed duty as the CAC of WMC precisely on August 16, 2018.

Tangwa added, “Immediately, the CAC went into action by embarking on familiarization tour of some out-stations under his area of coverage, in order to enable him get first-hand information about the terrain, challenges of officers and to seek cooperation of the border communities.”

The PRO enthused, “The fight against smuggling in the Command coordinated by Comptroller Binga, led to drastic reduction of smuggling activities at waterways.

“The CAC’s dialogue with border communities yielded positive results. He re-organised the 24hours patrol teams, which raised the tempo of anti-smuggling activities at creeks and waterways, leaving smugglers in disarray.”

 Seized items:

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