Smugglers Use Animals to Move Rice Into Nigeria 

 

ABIOLA Seun

The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Oyo/Osun command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Compt. Abdullahi Argungu said smugglers now use camels, horses, Cows to smuggle rice into the country.

The controller who stated over the weekend when he show cased some seizures at the command in Ibadan revealed that about 10 suspects were apprehended by the command.

“No country can solve smuggling completely but there is one thing i want you to understand from this thing, I want you to know that gone are the days when people smuggle with trailers. Those were the time of impunity where people did as they liked but now they conceal and use transport vehicles but not only these vehicles because if you go to the North, they use motorcycles, foot paths,  donkeys, camels.”

He however called for enlightenment of border communities against smuggling in the country.

Please, as press men try to enlighten the border communities because many of them still have the feeling that it is a legitimate trade and we want to deprive them of their means of livelihood. What the administration is after is that we should all go back to farming. What I will assure you is that what is seized by the service will be seen in the market”.

Argungu, while speaking further, stated that the command in the last eleven months generated the sum of twenty one billion, nine hundred and fifty four million, two hundred and eighty six thousand, three hundred and eighty naira, ninety kobo (N21, 954,286,380.90).

He said, “Subsequent upon my resumption, I embarked on a familiarization tour of the command to sensitize O/C outstations patrols leaders and the entire officers on the need to re-strategize and re-invigorate our operations by utilizing modern anti-smuggling techniques in accordance with international best practice in order to achieve the laudable goals of the anti-smuggling campaign of the Nigeria Customs Service.

“This has resulted in modest achievement as attested to by the under-listed seizures made by the area command from October 2018 till date.

“Eight used vehicles with duty paid value put at N20,180,876.39k, three thousand and ten 3010 (50kg) bags of rice with duty paid value put at N50, 556,678.25k, six hundred (600, 25 litres) kegs of vegetable oil with duty paid value put at N13,537,125.00k, Cannabis sativa (Indian hemp) with duty paid value put at 6, 999,776.59, twenty five bales of second hand clothing with duty paid value put at N6,443,671.50k and thirty-three means of conveyance with duty paid value put at N16,125,291.97”.

He added that the federal government’s efforts in reviving the nation’s economy through local industries and strengthening security, especially at the nation borders, were of utmost priority to the service.

Argungu said, “The command would do everything humanly possible in accordance with the law to actualize the goals set by the government in this regard.”

He stressed the need to restrategise and reinvigorate the operations by utilising modern anti-smuggling techniques in accordance with international best practice in order to achieve laudable goals of the anti-smuggling campaign of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Argungu said, “The law that prohibits the importation of rice and used vehicles through nation’s border is not new, so those who claim ignorance of the ban have no excuse.

“Furthermore, due to the recent huge seizure of illicit drugs at the sea ports, it becomes necessary for us to intensify our efforts against illicit drug trafficking through the nation borders with a view to checkmating the influx of illicit drugs through our territorial boundaries.

“Finally, I enjoin patriotic citizens who engage in legitimate business not to entertain any fear for the NCS is only concerned about bringing those who flout extant Customs and Excise law and regulations to book and enable those who engage in legitimate business to enjoy trade facilitation.”

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