Abiola Seun |
As the Christmas celebrations draw near, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted N194million worth of smuggled Rice, frozen poultry and vehicles in the South West.
The contrabands which were mostly food items intercepted in the first10 days in December 2019 expectedly, were meant for the yuletide celebration.
Recall that the federal government initiated a joint-border security exercise, code-named ‘Ex-Swift Response’, which commenced in August to secure Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.
The closure of the borders it was gathered was undertaken by the federal government to strengthen the nation’s security and protect its economic interests.
Stakeholders have argued that a lot of things had gone wrong regarding compliance with transit of goods, adding that the border closure was to ensure that things were streamlined so that all stakeholders could be back to doing the right things.
But, despite the closure, smugglers still bring in banned products that were intercepted by the anti-smuggling unit of the service.
According to the customs area Controller of FOU, A Compt. Muhammed Aliyu, the smuggled items intercepted worth N194million.
The goods include 1331 bags of foreign smuggled rice worth N18million, 396 cartons of frozen Chicken worth N6million and 308 kegs of vegetable oil worth N800,000.
Others are 11 units of smuggled Tokunboh vehicles worth N101million, 275 bales of used clothing worth N14million, 177 bags of used shoe with N9million among others.
Aliyu said that the cars were seized in the bush based on intelligence reports.
He said in most cases, officers concentrated on seizures and this was the reason the number of seizures was always higher than the number of suspects arrested along with the seizures.
Aliyu said that only drivers usually fall victim to the interception, saying that Customs was intensifying efforts at apprehending importers as well as agents along with the seizures.
“Last week we intercepted a lot of 50kg parboiled rice and this week again, we have also intercepted 50kg parboiled rice which was concealed in trucks.
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