• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

CUSTOMS: FOU Zone ‘A’ Made Seizures Of ₦723.2 Million Within 3 Weeks

“Seizes 751 Pieces Of AAA Cartridges (70MM) Of Live Ammunition,”

“Arrest 37 Suspects”

“Ejibunu Advised Guardians/Parents To Warn Their Wards/Children On The Dangers Of Smuggling”

The Nigeria Customs Service, of the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A Ikeja, barely a month after the maiden edition on assumption of the acting Controller, Deputy Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu, revealed that within three weeks has arrested 37 suspected smugglers and made seizures worth ₦723,288,244.75.

The Unit acting Controller Hussein Ejibunu, revealed this on Friday 22nd of October, 2021 during his press briefing at the Zone office in Ikeja, Lagos, gave the breakdown of the seized goods as follows: 8,000 bags of smuggled rice at 50kg each; 1,419 jerrycans of vegetable oil; 1,301 bales and 128 sacks of secondhand clothing.

Other items include: 233 bundles of wrapper; 621 cartons of expired medicaments; 635 cartons of wine; 1,046 pieces of used tyres; 21 cartons of cutlasses at 60 pieces each; 531 pieces of used compressor; 986 cartons of chocolate biscuit; 229 wraps (114.5kg) of Cannabis sativa (Indian hemp); 856 Jerrycan of PMS at 25 litres each; 1,516 cartons of frozen poultry products; 751 pieces of AAA cartridges (70MM) of live ammunition; 18 units of motorcycles inclusive of 80 means of conveyance.

The aforementioned seizures, according to Ejibunu were effected at different flash points in the Zone prominent among them being Ado-Odo, Idogo, Sokoto-Ijoun, Ohunbe, Ilaro, Atan, Abeokuta/Sagamu Interchange, Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, Iseyin, Igboora, Igbeti in Oyo State, Gbaji, Agbara in Ogun State and of course the creeks.

Ejibunu in his speech, stated that the mandate of FOU ‘A’ as a critical enforcement arm of the Service, particularly in the South West Zone, cannot be overemphasized.

“Besides stemming the tide of smuggling in the Zone, the Unit stands as a Police providing the much needed security to other Customs Area Commands across the Zone, there is also the implementation of Government Fiscal Policies, Facilitation of Legitimate Trade and inter Agency function.

“From the foregoing, you will quite appreciate the enormity of the task that lies ahead of us. It is on that premise we have remained resolute not to toy with the confidence reposed on us by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and his Management Team”, he said.

Furthermore, Ejibunu who has now become a torn in the flesh of smugglers in the Zone, there is a disturbing new trend of smuggling deployed by smugglers, which has to do with massive use of motorcycles to smuggle parboiled rice at 50kg each using bush paths not accessible to vehicles.

“Cumulative seizure of such means of conveyance is over 100 units in our custody”, he said.

“One thing is very certain; we remain undaunted in the pursuit of our mandate no matter the level of attacks on my Operatives in the field.

“Within the period under review, we had a total of 37 suspects arrested for various offences.

“Six of the suspects are already charged to Court, 12 on Administrative Bail while 19 are still in our custody either waiting to be charged to Court or be released through Bail.

“The activities of the Unit are not restricted to the borders alone, searchlight is equally beamed on the seaports in a bid to stamp out or minimize certain sharp practices credited to certain unscrupulous elements at the ports.

“On the 7th of October, 2021, the Unit intercepted 1x40ft container no. TGBU 6748844 along Amuwo Odofin in Ojo LGA of Lagos State being transloaded into two trucks with Reg. nos. FKJ621XA and Scania FST331YD.

“As at the time of interception, 248 bales of secondhand clothing had been transloaded into DAF truck no. FKJ621XA, 240 bales into Scania truck no. FST331YD while 216 bales were still remaining in the container. Both the container and the two trucks were brought to FOU ‘A’ and converted to seizure.

“Investigation which is ongoing has so far revealed that the container left APMT Apapa on Transire to Fano Bonded Terminal. It was further revealed that the containers were 3 in number on one single declaration.

“We are on the trail of the remaining 2 and of course those behind the dastardly act will not be spared as some people are already in the Customs Cell helping in our investigation”, Ejibunu said.

In the same vein, the acting Controller of federal Operations Unit Zone A sounding tough, said, “let me sound a note of warning to smugglers. No man has the monopoly of violence. We have the backing of the law to bear arms; and to that extent, we will not hesitate to deploy the Rules of Engagement in such dangerous circumstances. Parents should warn their wards on the dangers of smuggling”.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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