Seme Customs intercepts truck load of killer beef skin
.146 parcels of hard drugs conceals in Toyota highlander
.9 trailers of foreign rice
.Collects over N4.4bn revenue
By Udeme Clement
It was a moment of astonishment yesterday at Seme border, as the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Seme Area Command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba unveiled a truck fully loaded with contaminated beef skin (popularly known as ponmo, for cooking soup), imported into Nigeria illegally but intercepted by his men through intelligence.
The Command also intercepted 114 parcels of hard drugs (Cannabis Sativa) concealed in Toyota Highlander and another 32 wraps of similar drugs, making a total of 146 parcels seized within three weeks.
Seme Command seized 5,204 bags of foreign rice (equivalent to 9 trailer trucks), five vehicles, 10 Jerrycans of vegetable oil; 13 bags of sugar; 1,078 cartons of poultry products; 55 cartons of spaghetti; 97 Cartons of soap; 59 Cartons of insecticides and 65×6 Yards of Textiles.
Others include 17 sacks of used clothes/shoes; four cartons of tin tomato; 36 bales of used clothes; 60 pieces of used tyres; 669 packs of PVC carpet/foot mats and two cartons of cream among others.
The total Duty Paid Value, DPV, for the seizures within three weeks under review stands at over N112.4million (approximately N112.5million).
The Command made impressive performance in revenue generation with over N4.4billion collected in 2019.
That was not all. Comptroller Uba also showcased 9 trucks placed on detention by the Command for underpayment of duty.
The CAC commended officers in the Enforcement Unit of Seme Command and various Patrol Teams for working assiduously to enforce government fiscal policies at the border region.
Comptroller Garba disclosed that a suspect was arrested in connection with one of the seizures. He warned those engaged in illegal activities and cross-border crimes to avoid Seme border or risk arrest and possible prosecution.
Uba advised all Unit heads to ensure adequate supervision of their subordinates, in order to facilitate legitimate trade across the frontier while equally keeping a smooth relationship with critical stakeholders.
His words, “This will ensure that our core mandate as directed is achieved. The holistic approach in executing the mandate of the Service, will lead to an all-encompassing result, as revenue generation, suppression of smuggling and legitimate trade facilitation will be adequately enhanced at Lagos –Abidjan corridor without compromising National Security”.
The CAC assures members of both local and business communities that the Command will increase dialogue, enlightenment and robust stakeholders’ engagement for seamless operations at the modern Joint Border Post, which is the first of its kind in West African sub-region, designed to promote regional integration, reduce clearing time at the border, increase government revenue, improve free movement of persons/goods, eliminate corruption and loss of revenue at the borders.
He enthused, “On behalf of the officers and men of Seme Area Command, we extend our unreserved appreciation to the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC, Hameed Ibrahim Ali and his Management Team for their continuous support and encouragement.
“The achievements recorded so far, are with the tacit support of all other sister security agencies both locally and internationally”.
Financial Business observed that during the press briefing, some reporters fled the place where the killer beef skin was kept with maggots feeding on it, as the offensive odour coming out of the contaminated meat was so strong. But Comptroller Uba and his officers remained on the scene with few camera men notwithstanding the bad odour. The camera men kept tilting their cameras up and down, panning from left to right in capturing the killer meat, as Uba condemned the act in strong terms.