In its drive to curb smuggling within its areas of jurisdiction, the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ’C’ has intercepted goods with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N1,648,494,571.00
The Unit also arrested nine suspects concerning the seizures within the period under review (July 25 to September 23 2023).
The Acting Comptroller of the Unit, DC Kayode Kolade, disclosed this to journalists on Monday, 25 September 2023, at the Government Warehouse in Aduwawa, Benin City, Edo state.
Comptroller Kolade said that the unit recovered the sum of 54,244,571.00 from demand notices raised based on some infractions, making a cumulative sum of N1,634,794,571.00 within the months under review.
Items intercepted are 417 sacks of cannabis sativa, also known as Indian hemp, weighing 9,194kg, 627 compressed parcels of the same Indian hemp, 1kg each totaling 627kg, and nine sacks of 50 kilograms each of explosives’ raw materials.
Other seizures made are 1,329 bags, 50kg each of smuggled foreign parboiled rice; 5 cartons of DSP Cough Syrup with codeine 100mg containing 1000 bottles; 1 unit of armored Bullion Van; 761 jumbo bales of second-hand clothing; 883 cartons of various unregistered/expired medicaments including tramadol; 100 cartons of multiple wines; 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tyres; 335 cartons of smuggled foreign tomato paste; 300 cartons of foreign spaghetti.
He said that based on prompt intelligence and sting operation, the rice was intercepted along the Calabar/Akwa Ibom axis and Okada/Benin expressway, and the 417 sacks and 627 parcels of Indian hemp were intercepted at Okada-Benin and Ewu-Auchi Expressway, respectively.
“The five cartons of DSP cough syrup with codeine and 883 cartons of unregistered medicaments were intercepted along Benin/Asaba/Onitsha Expressway.
The armored Bullion Van without customs documents and End User Certificate was intercepted along the Okada/Benin Expressway. One hundred cartons of wine and 335 tomato paste were intercepted along the Ewu/Ibilo axis, and 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tyres were also intercepted along Cross River waterside and Okada-Benin Expressway “, he said.
He further expressed worry over the smuggling of explosives even as the country continued grappling with the challenges associated with insecurity and called on smugglers to desist forthwith in the interest of humanity or have the law to contend with.
“More worrisome is the interception of 9 sacks 50kg each of explosive materials (fertilizer, device cables, and superpower 90 chemicals). We all know the security implications if these explosive components reach their destination unchecked. It may interest you that Superpower 90 is designed for priming applications and as a column explosive in surface and underground mining and general blasting. The high detonation velocity and the robust nature of Superpower 90 make it an ideal primer for the initiation of column charge. Let us not just imagine if dynamites and landmines are detonated using these items “, he said.
He seized the opportunity to congratulate the Ag. Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi MFR, on his appointment to oversee the affairs of the service, described it as “well deserved considering his pedigree, dedication and commitment to the service”.
“We will all make sure he succeeds as his leadership style has started yielding positive results in our operations. I thank the Ag. Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi MFR, and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for their efforts in providing needed incentives and necessary logistics that aided our performance. To my dear colleagues, Customs Intelligence Unit, Customs Police, I must commend your prompt intelligence sharing, resilience, and tenacity that brought about this stride “, he added.
He urged journalists and Nigerians to help in the fight against smugglers by providing necessary intelligence and information that could assist the Service in arresting them.
The Comptroller warned smugglers to desist from their criminal activities, especially in the ember period, noting that no amount of attacks would stop nor distract Customs from performing their duties.