Economic sabotage : Customs FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna seizes contraband goods worth N2.3bn

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Economic sabotage :
Customs FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna seizes contraband goods worth N2.3bn

As Compt Hamisu uncovers 72 sacks of cannabis sativa conceals in cassava flour

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna, has demonstrated doggedness and what can be described as outstanding performance on the line of duty, with mind-boggling seizures worth over N2.3 billion, recorded from January 1 to December 20, 2022.

Comparatively, the N2.3billion shows a huge difference of N1billion from N1.3billion seizures recorded within the same period in 2021, even as the Unit made a total of 949 seizures.

Unveiling the seized items during a press conference, the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Unit, Compt Albashir Hamisu, revealed that his operatives also made impressive performance in the months of November and December 2022, with
161 seizures worth N351.5million recorded in just two months.

The operatives swiftly arrested three suspects in connection with some of the seizures.

The CAC and his officers showing seized items during press conference

The items seized include eight vehicles used in conveying prohibited goods; 2114 bags of foreign rice (50kg each), worth N104,597,231.90; 126 bales of secondhand clothes worth N18,820,777.50; 72 sacks of Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana), 65 bags of foreign Rice (25kg each) and
818 cartons of foreign Spaghetti, Macaroni.

Others were 102 cartons of foreign cream; 113 bundles of textile materials; 10 cartons of chewing gum, seven bags of foreign flour (25kg each); 55 used tyres; 438 jerrycans of petrol (25litres each); 87 bags of foreign fertilizer (50kg each) and 102 cartons of Eva Soap.

Other seizures include vegetable oil; sacks of secondhand shoes and sacks of foreign tomato paste, among many others.

Most spectacular among the seizures were 72 sacks of cannabis sativa concealed in sacks of cassava flour; but uncovered by Compt Hamisu and his operatives through timely use of intelligence.

Compt Hamisu said : “The cannabis sativa was intercepted along Sokoto-Zamfara axis. The Marijuana would be handed over to the Commandant, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kaduna State Command in the spirit of Inter-agency collaboration.

The CAC, PRO and senior officers of the Unit during press conference

Speaking further, the CAC explained;
“Our anti-smuggling operations are in line with sections 139 – (provisions for detention, seizure and condemnation of goods) and Section 158, which empowers officers to patrol freely, as enshrined in Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004, as amended.

“Another function of the Unit include translation of Federal Government Fiscal Policies into reality, in order to promote economy growth and development. We have a mandate to suppress smuggling activities within the Zone, which comprises entire North West areas of Niger, Kogi, Kwara, as well as Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”

He informed ; “The factors, which led to the feats in our anti-smuggling operations in 2022 could be attributed to motivation and support from the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Hameed Ibrahim Ali and his Management team, who provided the logistics, capacity building and welfare for Officers/Men of the Unit.

“We also ensured intensive patrol within the Zone, effective use of Intelligence, information gathering and surveillance operations within our area of responsibility.

“Other measures include inter-agency synergy, sharing of intelligence with sister security agencies, continuous stakeholders’ engagement, especially with traditional rulers as well as other government agencies in the Zone.”

His assertions; “Let me warn smugglers, who want to take advantage of the Yuletide season to stay clear of the Zone. I want them to know that our operatives are on red alert and vigilant to tame smuggling activities during the festive period, with a view to arresting and prosecuting economic saboteurs.”

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