Joint Border Drill Team in kwara Seizes contraband worth over N802.5million
*Arrests 23 suspects
*We will sustain Anti-smuggling tempo in North Central – says Compt Mohammed Uba
The Joint Border Operations Drill, Sector-3, covering North Central zone, has seized contraband worth over N98.3 million in the last three weeks.
Coordinator of the Team, Comptroller , Mohammed Uba, who is known to be an Enforcement guru in Customs operations, disclosed this during a press conference in Ilorin yesterday.
He informed, “The prohibited items seized include1,437 bags of foreign rice of (50kg each). 430 bags out of these were concealed in bags of Onions, Maize, Millet and Beans. The Duty Paid Value (DPV) is N24.4million.
“Also seized were 494 Tin-tomatoes; 25 units of vehicles; 18 bales of second-hand clothings and 15 sacks of shoes, intercepted at Jebba-Mokwa, Okuta, Alapa, as well as Kotangora axis of the region, through intelligence”.
Comptroller Uba revealed, “It is also worthy of note that since my assumption of duty here, we have recorded 151 seizures consisting of 134 Used Vehicles; 14, 576 Bags of rice- equivalent to 15 trailers; 303,609 litres of Petroleum Products; 362 bundles of textile materials, 11 illicit weapons; 129 motorcycles used in smuggling banned items, among others. The total DPV of the seized items is N802,542,040.”
That was not all. Within the same period Comptroller Uba and his men arrested 23 suspects in connection with the seized items.
His assertion, “It has been barely a month since our last press briefing, which highlighted outstanding seizures worth over N135 million.
“Again, It is my pleasure to inform you that this sector has recorded another month of successful operations credited to the efforts of officers and men of the sector. Recall that in our last press briefing, I reiterated our resolve to tirelessly reduce smuggling in Sector-3 area of operations, covering the North Central States of Nigeria, which are Niger, Kwara, Kogi and Benue.
“Therefore, In keeping to this promise, the Sector initiated new anti-smuggling strategies that led to these. remarkable feats”.
Interacting further with reporters, Comptroller Uba explained, “We also engaged our stakeholders through meetings. Some of the stakeholders like IPMAN, PTD, Traders, Market women, Textile and Shoe dealers Association, in our efforts to sensitise them about the need to support government’s policy on border closure
“We also paid courtesy visits to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Emirs of Ilorin and Kaima. We equally embarked on operational tours to Ilesha-Baruba and Gwanara axis of the sector”.
He stressed, “We must continue to sustain the tempo in anti-smuggling operations in the North Central zone.
“All illicit traders should desist from illegal trades and engage in legitimate businesses, in order to support economic growth”
“Finally, in order to prevent spread of COVID-19, the Federal Government has announced total closure of all land borders. So, our team in Sector- 3 remains totally committed to the enforcement of this Executive Order”.
Thus, Comptroller Uba is a no – nonsense enforcement officer of the Service. His outstanding records of anti-smuggling feats are seen in specific areas of his assignments. He has served Customs at different Commands, in various capacities. Many officers working under his watch have benefited from his ingenuity and wealth of experience.