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Western Marine Customs made N1.1 billion seizure of smuggled items in 2020

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Segun Oladipupo  |  

The Western Marine Command (WMC) of the Nigeria Customs Service said it made seizures of different smuggled items on South Western waterways and creeks worth over N1.1 billion  in the year 2020.

Suleiman  Isah, Public Relations  Officer of the command stated this in a press statement on Tuesday.

Isah said upon assumption of office of the new Controller, Olugbenga Peters in February 2020, he re-jigged some operational activities which resulted in the quantum seizure.

According to him, the strategy included blocking of some porous routes which led to the suppression of smuggling activities along the territorial waters thereby achieving maximum and efficient operations.

The Controller in the statement said 81 items were seized by the command from January to December of the year under review.

“It may interest you to know that these strategies led to the seizures of 81 different items from January to December 2020 with Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) One Billion, One Hundred and Four Million, Six Hundred and Forty-Seven Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Naira (#1,104,647,370.00) only as against the Total DPV of One Hundred and Twenty Nine Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty-Six Naira, Forty-Six Kobo (#129, 559,656.46) only in the Year 2019.

“These unprecedented seizures were made as a result of the strategies put in place in terms of 24hour patrol, capacity building, surveillance, intelligence gathering, doggedness and determination of our operatives in making the Zone unbearable for smugglers.

“I want to use this medium to appreciate the efforts of other sister agencies for their contributions in providing relevant information in making some of these seizures.

“Gentlemen of the press, you may recall that the operatives of the Command had on the 24th April 2020 made a unique seizure of over 10tonnes of Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana) valued at One Billion, Two Million, Fifty Thousand Naira (#1,002,050,000.00) only which happened to be the biggest single item catch of Marijuana ever seized in the history of Nigeria Customs Service.

“This feat has received national and international commendations; the Comptroller General ofCustoms on behalf of the Management recognised the outstanding performance of the Officers/Men involved in the seizure with commendation letters.

“Also, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) has recognised the Command and they are about to install a Video Tele-
Conferencing (VTC) Cisco WebEx equipment that will aid our operations in the maritime industry.
” The equipment is funded under the auspices of the Government of Denmark aimed at strengthening maritime law enforcement response to piracy and other maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea.

“These seizures are strong indications that the operatives of the Command are combat-ready in policing and enforcing the Federal Government Fiscal Policies despite the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

He however warned smugglers to desist from their nefarious trade, threatening that there is no hiding place for them

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