Customs arrests 26 smugglers over N322m contraband goods

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) recorded 98 seizures of contraband goods valued at N322 million in September 2014. The command also arrested 26 smugglers in connection with the illegal imports.

The Customs Area Controller of the unit, Dimka Victor David, who made the disclosure in Benin said the seizures were made in the South East and South South geo-political zones of the country.

According to him, “89 exotic vehicles were impounded, in addition to a trailer load of 1,620 cartons of vegetable oil cleverly concealed with empty jerry cans to deceive the officers/men of Customs while  the driver was arrested on the Benin-Ore Road and detained.”

Giving the breakdown of the seizures, Dimka said the unit was ready to halt the activities of smugglers.

“Our men on the Owerri axis seized a container load of 112 bales of textile materials, 40ft container comprising garments and assorted types of furniture, which the suspects cunningly arranged in a manner to deceive men of the Nigeria Customs Service. He stated that four trucks containing 1,932 (50kg) bags of rice was impounded on the Benin axis while eight bags of Indian hemp weighing 399.5kg was found in a luxury bus in Udi LGA on the Onitsha/Enugu Road, neatly concealed with passengers’ luggage, leading to the detention of the driver and the items for further investigation,” he added.

The FOU Zone ‘C’ Area Controller who expressed dismay at the rate of smuggling in the country despite consistent arrests of the culprits, said NCS has acquired modern communication gadgets to track down smugglers wherever they operate, adding that the existing synergy between the establishment and other sister agencies such as the NDLEA, police, army and the SSS has added impetus to the onslaught against smuggling in the country.

He advised members of the public to always contact the help desk of any Customs formation to ascertain the genuineness of the Customs clearance documents of the vehicles they want to buy to avoid unpalatable consequences.

“We have our men all over the place and they have been trained in the modern techniques of anti-smuggling and with the state-of-the-art gadgets we now have, it has become much more difficult for smugglers to operate without being detected,” he added.

He extolled the Comptroller General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko Inde, for his consistent support as it has strengthened the operation of the officers/men of the service.

Source : SunOnline

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