The nation’s economic saboteurs and smugglers are said to be on the run, abandoning their smuggled goods, following intensified border patrol and scrutiny by customs operatives from Seme Customs Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
This is even as the Seme Customs Command, said it took full advantage of its renewed strategies against smuggling and hauled remarkable interceptions of 705 contraband items.
It was gathered that the seizures of the various smuggled goods with a total duty paid value of N409, 851,533.14, was achieved since the re-opening of land Borders earlier this year on the orders of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Seme Area Command Controller, Comptroller Bello Mohammed Jibo stated this during a press conference at Ecowas Joint Border Post Hall, Seme-Krate, Badagry.
The items seized according to Jibo are 79 exotic vehicles, 5,568 bags of foreign parboiled rice (50 kg each), 294 cartons of frozen poultry products, 232 parcels of cannabis sativa, 798 cartons of tomato paste, 3,208 jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (25 litres) and three cartons of sugar were among items intercepted.
Others are six cartons of slippers, 305 pairs of used shoes, 30 cartons of Nescafe, 19 cartons of Non Alcoholic wine, 10 cartons of cigarettes, 12 cartons of herbal soap and two sacks of condoms.
Comptroller Jibo commended the rare gallantry exhibited by his officers and men, however, stated that the achievements of his Command were aided by the synergy and collaboration between Customs and sister agencies which were geared towards combating smuggling.
“the landmark achievement is an indication that officers and men of the Command are not losing their guards in detecting and stemming the tide of the nefarious activities perpetuated by dare-devil smugglers.”
While conducting journalists round the Customs warehouses and seizures yard, the Controller confirmed that no suspected smuggler was arrested in connection with any of the intercepted 79 vehicles smuggled through the land borders.
Jibo, reiterated his earlier warnings that importation of vehicles through the land borders, remains prohibited as such import is only authorised through the ports in line with extant Customs regulations.
“Most of these vehicles were brought in through illegal routes and parked within the Border communities, with the hope of taking them to various places through the use of forged import documents, some of such documents were recovered in the vehicles”, he said.