Illicit trade: Customs in FOU Zone ‘B’ arrests 14 smugglers
.Records over N1bn seizures
.Uncovers concealment of foreign rice in local bags
By Udeme Clement
The Customs officers in Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘B’ of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, are giving illicit traders a tough time, as 14 smugglers have already been arrested for economic sabotage, even as two suspects had been successfully prosecuted according to the law.
The Unit also recorded about 623 seizures estimated at a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of over N1billion.
That was not all. The Unit through intelligence uncovered the antics of smugglers in concealing foreign rice in locally made bags, in a deliberate attempt to deceive un-suspecting consumers.
The Customs Controller of the Unit, Mohammed Sarkin-Kebbi made this known while addressing newsmen in Kaduna, on the activities of the Unit.
Sarkin-Kebbi further disclosed that the seizures were made from January to June, 2019.
He explained that the monetary value of the seizures made by the Unit in half year of 2019, which is over N1billion is far greater than N504million (N504,112,150) that the Unit recorded the same period in 2018.
Responding to questions on improved performance of the Unit, Sarkin-Kebbi said that the Command received support from Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Ali Hameed, who is working tirelessly to enhance economic growth and development through efficiency in Customs operations.
He attributed the success recorded by the Unit to intelligence driven approach used by his officers in carrying out enforcement operations.
Some of the items seized include 147 bales of second-hand clothes; cartons of tramadol drugs; 8,618 bags of foreign rice; 820 cartons of spaghetti, 333 used tyres; 1,035 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 167 bags of sugar and about 153 vehicles, among other prohibited items.