Customs FOU battle-ready for die-hard smugglers
* Seizes 77 trailers of rice, petrol, hard drugs, items worth N7.1bn
* Arrests 103 suspects
* We must frustrate smugglers out of illegal business – Says Ejibunu
Apparently, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service has demonstrated superior intelligence against die-hard smugglers in its area of coverage, as the Unit seized 45,928 bags of foreign rice (50kg each) equivalent to
77 trailer loads, hard drugs, petroleum products and numerous prohibited items worth over N7.1billion in Duty Paid Value (DPV).
Also, the Unit, which appears battle-ready for economic saboteurs apprehended 103 suspects in connection with some seizures.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Unit, Compt Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu, revealed these details while briefing newsmen on activities of FOU Zone ‘A’ in the half year of 2022. He said the Unit is ready to frustrate smugglers out of illegal business.
Other seizures unveiled by the CAC before Journalists include 265,830 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol; 233 cartons of tramadol (225mg each); 2,933 bales of used clothes ; 14,784 used tyres; 65 vehicles; 3,659.05 kg of cannabis sativa; 119 motorcycles used in smuggling foreign rice.
Giving more details while taking Journalists round the Unit, the CAC described used tyres as silent killers, urging Nigerians not to patronise such items for their personal safety.
According to him, the Unit is constantly rejigging its modus- operandi to thwart illicit trade and run smugglers out of illegal business in the economic environment.
The Area Controller frowned at nefarious activities of economic saboteurs, saying that illegal smuggling and consumption of hard drugs are also responsible for increase in crime rate in the country.
He emphasised that activities of criminal elements in the country
must be checked for citizens to have sanity in the system, especially as the nation prepares for 2023 general elections.
More so, FOU though not a revenue generating Unit, made impressive performance in revenue collection, with a whopping sum of N577, 853, 457.96, (approximately N577.9million) recovered from underpayments of trade goods within the same period under review.
The CAC attributed the feats recorded so far to sustained intelligence and operational strategies deployed within their area of responsibility, even as he thanked the Comptroller General of Customs, CGC Hameed Ibrahim Ali and his Management team for providing logistics support for the Unit.