Abiola Seun |
Less than two days after the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service intercepted smuggled rice inside Motorcycle fuel tanks, the operatives of the Zone A Strike Force of Nigeria Customs Service also seized 57 motorbikes in an operation at Ilara community in Ogun State.
Yahaya Biri Usman a Deputy Comptroller and officer in charge of the strike force in Zone A, said he led his men into the bushes while acting on intelligence.
According to him, Customs waited for the courier motorbikes to commence movements in convoy until they got to part of the bush path where the terrain will be difficult to turn back, before swooping on them.
He added that the operation took weeks of follow ups, waiting and trailing as according to him, the smugglers had thought customs was unaware of their antics.
“Each of the motorcycle carried ten bags of 50kg foreign rice tightly tied on them. In their desperation to run away, some of them abandoned their bikes with rice in pool of water”
“We have evacuated the rice and motorcycles to our base while the operation to fight smuggling is ongoing.
“No matter how far they take their smuggling activities to, we will follow them to seize and arrest. Where they think our vehicles cannot get to, we will walk down and ensure seizures are made.
“I personally went with my men to Ilara on this operation and the message to smugglers from the outcome of this, is that, we are watching and alert to strike at any time they dare to smuggle, through anywhere.
“Just as the smugglers are becoming very desperate by keeping awake, planning to beat us, we are doing around the clock planning and operations that will constantly keep us ahead of them” Yahaya said.
A viral video showing the seizures was being shared on the social media with several motorcycles lying on the ground along bush paths showing water logged and murky terrain.
Yahaya also disclosed that his men has completed evacuation of large number of seized drugs from a warehouse alongside Oshodi Apapa Expressway and sealed them in 14 trucks. His men uncovered the smugglers warehouse in August.
The drugs initially valued at over N5b, which includes prohibited dosage of tramadol, controlled codeine syrup and other substances has been discovered to be of higher value and believed to be the highest single seizure made by the service.
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