… Seized 258,385 Goods Worth Over N6 Billion Since 2019-2023
Highlighting the activities of the Joint Border Patrol (JBP) Operation which is a reflection from the date of inception in August 2019 to January 2023, Comptroller Mohammed Hassan briefs the press on sector’s success, seizures and challenges.
Comptroller Mohammed Hassan revealed that border security has come to assume heightened importance in the world today as the rate of criminal and cross border violations have increased in scale especially since after the end of Gulf war and in the wake of globalization.
“Thus security of the borders is very imperative in dealing with national security challenges, smuggling, illegal traffic of arms, persons, drugs and currency as well as acts of terrorism etc.
“The Joint Borders Patrol (JBP) Operation is a coalition under the umbrella of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). It’s made up of components from the military, paramilitary and intelligence agencies inclusive of the Army, Navy, Police, Customs.
“Immigration, the Police Force, State Security and the National Intelligence Services, which all combined to operate under the lead role of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)
“The function of JBT Operations is interventionist. It was set up with the objectives to enhance national security and economy through the suppression of illegal border trade and other trans border violations to forestall the influx of arms, ammunition and to generally act in collaboration with the conventional border agencies to do their jobs rather more efficiently and strongly.
“By the design, the Nigeria JBP Operation was in the height meant to operate in conjunction with the counterparts JBP Operations across the three (3) neighboring countries to Nigeria; namely, Republics of Benin, Niger and Cameroun,” he said.
Hassan recalled that he assumed office as Coordinator of the JBP Operations in Sector 2 in the year 2020 and was proud to concretely highlight that the purpose for setting up the JBP National assignment has to a very large extent been achieved despite the many challenges of assaults, connivance, open fraternity and loss of lives suffered.
Speaking on the operation, Hassan said collaboration within the coalition has further broadened the base for strong synergy between all the security agencies and has greatly brought about the reduction of smuggling activities including illegal immigration, illicit traffic and various trans border criminalities across the land and water frontiers.
“The activities has translated into several seizures of prohibited goods such as rice, illicit drugs, unapproved medicaments, national/foreign currency, used tyres, petroleum products.and etc which have since been deposited in various Government Warehouses( GWH) within the Area of Responsibilities (AOR) at Abeokuta, Idiroko, Ibadan, Ikeja and Seme axis across the Sector 2.
“Aside numerous seizures in the course of the activities within and outside the twenty (20) kilometers radius, the Operation has recorded arrests of persons where in some situations, it included means of carriages and conveyance.
“However, that was possible with the successful deployment of humist which also led to the unraveling of many saboteurs and their spread the border axis and towns.
“In addition, vigilance by the operatives has led to the discovery of many desolate, abandoned and reptiles infected petrol stations used for smuggling purposes across the Sector,” he said.
He revealed that few days ago with the credible intelligence via the operatives, about 274kg of Cannabis Sativa concealed in plastic kegs and worth about Six Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (#6,750,000) were intercepted and handed over to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) as the responsible agency of government.
“A total of 4,3581/2 wraps of Cannabis Sativa weighing 3,079 462 KG and valued at #71,133,000.00k have been handed over with 2 cases in court.
“Equally, the collaboration with Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has so far yielded one conviction with others at various levels of legal processes and will obviously be heading to the court.
“It is important to mention at this point of the healthy working relationship with the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agencies (NMDPRA) in respect of the need to prosecute or sanction violations of regulations on bunkery, and illegal exportation of petroleum products (PMS) specifically as it relates to the assignments of the JBP,” he said.
On seizures, he said “in the year 2019, the total seizures on record stood at 111,571 items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of One Billion, Three Hundred and Forty Four Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Two Thousand, Four Hundred Naira (#1,344,552,400.00) only.
“In the year 2020, we made seizures of 73,764 items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of Two Billion, Five Hundred and Thirty Eight Million, Four Hundred and Forty One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Fifty Naira (#2,538,441,750.00) only.
“In 2021, the figure for seized goods stood at 32,135, with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of One Billion, Ninety Nine Million, One Hundred and Seventy Three Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira (#1,099,173,800.00) only.
“In the year 2022, the total number of seized goods was of goods to the tune of Thirty- Six Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty – Four (36,844) with a Duty Paid Value of One Billion, One Hundred and Ninety Six Million, Three Hundred and Twenty-Two Thousand and Six Naira (#1,196,322,006:00)only
“Cumulatively, seized goods between August 2019 and January 2023, is 258,385 While 701 means of conveyance have also been seized. The total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of seized items over the period is thus, Six Billion, One Hundred and Seventy-Eight Million, Five Hundred and Eighty-Four Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty-Three Naira (#6,178,584,153:00) only, he added.
On hazards, Comptroller Hassan said the success stories are not without sacrifices, some of which are life threatening adding that the officers have constantly been under threats, assaults and attacks.
He said the most recent amongst the numerous, is the attack on the operatives who went on intelligence based patrol to Joforo Village in Owode – Apa suburb in Badagry on the 11th February, 2023.
“In December last year, an IVECO Truck with Registration details AGL 999 XZ, laden with iron rods and traveling towards Idiroko, overran and crushed the Patrol Base at Ajilete.
“In another attack launched on the JBP Teams in the Sector by smugglers and their sympathizers, we lost gallant and courageous operatives These are just a few amongst the sixteen (16) incidents recorded in the year 2022 alone.
“Gentlemen of the press, as major stakeholders in the quest for an economically viable nation devoid of saboteurs and criminal elements, we shall be taking you round some of our seizures in the Abeokuta Government Warehouse,” he said.
The Comptroller further commended the Federal Government’s vision, decision and commitment towards the formation and funding of the JBP Operation which he said has further bonded the security agencies.
“I equally thank the Management of the Nigeria Customs ably led by the untiring and indefatigable Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) CFR, for finding me fit to represent the service in this life changing assignment.
“I thank you all for your partnership and I pray that God takes us back safely to our various destinations,” he said.
In attendance were Compol Commd – DSS Mr. Bashir Kabir, Compol Commd – Immigration, ACI US Abdulla, The representative Compol Commd – Police, Representative of ONSA – SG Awala, AC Enforcement – AC A Adamu, AC ADMIN – CB Atinse (psc), Axis Team Leaders.