Anti-smuggling surveillance on high sea:

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  • Western Marine Customs makes
    N747.2million seizures

(Report by Udeme Clement):

The Western Marine Command (WMC), of Nigeria Customs Service, is one of the formations that has been most outstanding in anti-smuggling operations and has made the Service proud at several occasions with remarkable feats.

The Command has just achieved another milestone in its anti-smuggling operations with a record of 30 seizures, made from January to June, 2021.

The new Customs Area Controller (CAC), of WMC, Deputy Comptroller Enonche Ochiba, made this known through his Public Relations Officer (PRO), ASCI Isah Sulaiman.

He revealed that the seized items worth
a total of 747.2million in
Duty Paid Value (DPV), even as he attributed the tremendous achievements made by the Command within this period to the doggedness of officers in carrying out their statutory functions.

His words; “These unprecedented seizures were made as a result of the strategies put in place in terms of 24 hours patrol, capacity building, surveillance, intelligence gathering and determination of our operatives in making the waterways unbearable for smugglers.

“These seizures are strong indications that operatives of the Command are combat-ready in policing and enforcing the Federal Government Fiscal Policies despite all odds”.

The CAC commends Officers/Men of the Command for the feats. He appreciates the CGC and his management team for motivation and support given to the Command, leading to seamless execution of it’s statutory responsibilities.

He urges stakeholders and well- meaning Nigerians to support the Command in providing credible information that will aid its performance.
He enjoins law abiding citizens to go about their legitimate businesses in accordance with the laws of the land, as the target is always on economic saboteurs/dare-devil smugglers.

Thus, the new CAC, DC Ochiba, took over the mantle of leadership of WMC on July 5, 2021. Before his latest posting to WMC; he was the Acting CAC Bauchi/Gombe Area Command with Headquarters in Bauchi.

The CAC expressed his heartfelt appreciation to reporters for their sustained determination towards disseminating information relating to anti-smuggling drive of the Service and further dissuading members of the public on inherent dangers of smuggling on social and economic stability of the country.

Recall that WMC through its efficiency in curbing smuggling on high sea, waterways and the creeks has received International recognition from reputable organisations.

For instance, not too long ago, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), commended the Command and its enforcement officers for remarkable performance in tackling smuggling of illicit drugs on waterways.

Therefore, in recognition of the Command’s uncommon anti-smuggling feats,
UNODC donated Video Tele-conferencing CISCO WEBEX equipment, to be installed in the Command, to aid its operations on high sea.

To actualise that, a delegate of UNODC headed by Miss Siji Song, formally
handed over the VTC equipment to the Command on March 16, 2021.

That was not all. The Comptroller-General of Customs – CGC Hameed Ali, and his Management team gave officers of the Command commendation letters for the spectacular seizure of 10 tons of Cannabis Sativa on high sea, valued at over N1.2billion. The seizure made last year, remains the largest single seizure of hard drugs ever made by any Command on high sea, in the history of Nigeria Customs Service.

More so, just few months ago, precisely on Saturday March 27, 2021, the same Command made another massive seizure of Cannabis Sativa, worth more than N694.5million, arrested
six suspects, who were handed over to National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The hard drugs were seized by the Command operatives of Coastal and Harbour Patrol (Bar-Beach), through credible intelligence along Ibeche Beach on the high sea.

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