- Arrests 9 suspects
- Tramadol, petrol, cannabis, rice, cars, among seizures
(Report by Udeme Clement):
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service has recorded another feat in anti-smuggling drive against illicit traders in its area of coverage.
The news reaching our platform reveals that the
Unit intercepted 42 drums of explosive
and various contraband items worth over N 3.1
billion in Duty Paid Value (DPV).
The enforcement officers of the Unit also arrested nine (9) suspects in connection with the seized items. In fact, two out of the nine culprits have been charged to Court.
The Acting Customs Area Controller (CAC), of the Unit, U. Yahaya, made this known during press conference in Lagos.
His words: “The task before us is quite enormous. From February 9, 2021, till date, several seizures were made including 80 means of conveyance. This is simply a pointer to the fact that smugglers are unrelenting and adamant at complying with the extant laws on international trade.
“It is imperative to note that importation of items such as foreign poultry products, secondhand clothing, spaghetti, toothpick, used vehicles and rice across the land borders remains banned.
“Within the period under review, the Unit recorded the following seizures;
20,538 bags of foreign rice, 3,106 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,488 kegs of Petrol at 25 litres each, 1,035 bales of secondhand
clothing, 77 cartons of tin tomato, 2,843.6 kg of Indian Hemp, 877 bundles of printed wax/textile materials, 29 different brands of used
vehicles, 2,969 cartons of Eva soap, 42 drums of carbide (explosives), 549 cartons of Tramadol and 12 units of used motorcycles with DPV of N 3.1 billion.”
The CAC pointed out:
“In the area of interventions regarding Demand Notices arising from under-payments, the Unit realised N242,251,506.00 during the period under review.
“Section 158 of Customs and Excise Management Act CAP C45 LFN 2004, as amended, has given us powers to patrol and search everywhere without restrictions. Section 147 of the same CEMA empowers us to enter into any premises without search warrant, provided there is credible information on prohibited items deposited therein for us to strike”.
He emphasised: “The power to seize and prosecute offenders is also embedded in Sections 46 and 47 respectively. It is instructive to know that offenders are liable to prosecution without option of fine.”
Yahaya frowned at nefarious activities of smugglers in the country and implications on the nation’s economy.
He stressed: “Everyone should be worried about smuggling because it begets unemployment, drug addiction, criminality, proliferation of light/small arms and substandard goods.
“Just like crime fighting, which is the responsibility of everyone and not only security agents, the same applies to smuggling. You can
imagine what would have happened if 42 drums of Carbide (explosives) had
entered the wrong hands.
“We need your continuous cooperation by providing credible information to hold sway in the fight against smuggling.’