Customs in Katsina State clamps down on smugglers
* Arrests fake police officer with contraband
It is a tough moment for smugglers operating within the border communities in Katsina State,, as Compt Wada Chedi and his team are clamping down on economic saboteurs within that axis.
Compt Wada Chedi, who is the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Katsina Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), is using credible intelligence to outsmart illicit traders in Katsina. And his modus-operandi has yielded positive results, as shown in massive seizures recorded by the Command.
For instance, from February 1 to March 30, 2022, the Command through its anti-smuggling network made seizures worth over N42.7million in Duty Paid Value (DPV).
The items intercepted include
vehicles worth over N10,935,000; foreign rice smuggled into the country through the borders; vegetable oil, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) commonly known as petrol and other items worth N31,793,850, with total DPV of N42.7million.
Addressing reporters during press conference yesterday, Compt Wada Chedi said their anti-smuggling strategy has been rejigged to protect the nation’s economy from nefarious activities of illicit traders working against government’s effort in growing local industries.
He informed :
“The seized items are; 432 bags of foreign rice worth N10,454,400.00; 309 cartons of foreign spaghetti valued at N1,668,600.00; 20 cartons of foreign couscous worth N108,000.00; 55 cartons of foreign macaroni worth N297,000.00; 68 jerrycans of vegetable oil worth N1,795,200.00; 284 kegs of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) valued at N1,288,650.00; 69 cartons of foreign milky creamer worth 1,863,000.00.
“30 cartons of foreign milk worth N264,600.00; 15 bales of secondhand clothes worth N1,260,000.00; 40 wraps of secondhand clothes valued at N1,440,000.00; 400 bags of tiger nuts valued at N10,560,000.00; as well as six cartons of medicaments worth N794,400.00, making a total of N31,793,850.00million.
“Vehicles under detention include one used DAF Truck with REG. NO. GME 13 XE worth N6,750,000.00; Toyota Sienna Space Wagon with REG. NO: 315 FD valued at N2,025,000.00; one used Ford Transit Bus, REG. NO: SBA 157 XA with DPV of N1,485,000.00 and GOLF 3 with REG. NO: BRK 123 XA worth N675,000.00. The total DPV for the four vehicles is N10,935,000.00million, making grand total of N42.7million, as mentioned earlier.’
That was not all.
The CAC also revealed that on March 23, 2022, at about 2015 hours, the Headquarters Patrol Team ‘A’ apprehended Mr Sirajo Jelami Abdulkadir, who claimed to be a serving Police Officer.
He disclosed :
“The suspect was arrested with used Toyota Sienna space wagon conveying 25 bags of foreign rice, a carton of foreign spaghetti and another carton of foreign macaroni.
“The registration number of the vehicle is LSD 315 FD Toyota Sienna LE with inscription, “FEDERAL JOINT COMPLIANCE MONITORING & ENFORCEMENT AGAINST MULTIPLE TAXES AND LEVIES ALONG NIGERIAN HIGHWAY, KADUNA STATE COMMAND. He was arrested along Katsina – Kano road.
“The suspect, Mr Abdulkadir claimed to be a Police Officer but we found in his possession, four different Identity Cards: Police ID Card; Citizen for Peace & First Aid Mission of Nigeria; Nigeria Association of Agric Produce Dealers (NAAPD) in partnership with (ALGON), IMAN Federal Representative of Nigeria Taskforce Kaduna State.
“Other items found with the suspect include Nigeria Police ballistic jacket, handcuff, an Assistant Superintendent of Police rank badge and tear-gas. The suspect, along with all the exhibits, excluding the rice, spaghetti, macaroni and the vehicle were handed over to Nigeria Police, Katsina State Command for further investigation to ascertain his claim of being a Police Man”.
However, these latest seizures are parts of numerous anti-smuggling feats recorded by Compt Wada as the CAC of Katsina Command.
Wada, who is highly knowledgeable and skilled in Customs operations has displayed doggedness and tenacity in the fight against smugglers in his area of responsibility.
His records of anti-smuggling activities presented almost on monthly basis are the most spectacular in Katsina State, which is also known to be a volatile terrain when it comes to illicit trade.