The Acting Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi has highlighted seizures made through commendable efforts of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in curbing illicit drug trade and smuggling activities within the country. He made this known at the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Lagos today.
The briefing shed light on recent successful interceptions and seizures made by the NCS in its ongoing commitment to safeguarding the well-being of Nigerian citizens and securing the nation’s borders.
Emphasizing the gravity of the situation, Adeniyi noted that the NCS intercepted a shipment of codeine syrup, a controlled substance that has been widely abused among the youth.
The concealment of 299 cartons of codeine syrup, according to him, was discovered along the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, leading to renewed concerns over the adverse societal effects stemming from the misuse and distribution of such substances.
Adeniyi highlighted the collaborative approach with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other government bodies to address this pressing issue and protect future generations from the dangers of addiction and its associated consequences.
He said, “As part of our unwavering commitment to safeguarding our society and protecting the well-being of our citizens, the NCS has once again demonstrated its dedication to eradicating the menace of drug trafficking. Last week officers of the Federal Operating Unit Zone A, acting on credible intelligence, flagged down a DAF truck close to Ijebu-Ode Junction. An examination of the truck revealed the concealment of 299 cartons of codeine syrup along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.”
Speaking further, Adeniyi drew attention to the persistent challenge posed by smugglers, particularly in the cases of rice and premium motor spirit (PMS) while noting that the smuggling of rice has undermined national revenue and food security, adding that efforts to smuggle PMS across the border have persisted despite economic challenges.
He said the NCS remains resolute in its endeavors to counter these activities. Several successful operations resulted in the seizure of 4,252 bags of foreign parboiled rice across various locations, and 5,600 liters of PMS were intercepted at the Oja-odan axis in Ogun State.
“Smugglers of rice and premium motor spirit continue to test our will to put them out of business. Smuggling of rice compromise our revenue and sabotage our food security.
Despite the biting effects of fuel subsidy removal on our economy, smugglers still attempt to smuggle PMS across the border. They met their waterloo in different operations conducted by officers of NCS. The following seizures of both items were recorded. A total of 4, 252 bags of foreign parboiled rice (50 kg each) at Dangote/Imashayi Ogun State, Saki Axis Oyo State, Owode/Ado Odo in Ogun state, Idiroko/Ohumbe Ogun State, Okoko Mile 2 Axis in Lagos State and Ado-Ekiti in Ekiti State.
Similarly, 5,600 litres of premium motor spirit were intercepted and seized when smugglers attempted to takeout these strategic resource through Oja-odan axis in Ogun State,” he noted.
He added that the NCS’s commitment to stringent law enforcement is demonstrated through the array of recent seizures, encompassing various illicit goods. These include 291 bales of second-hand clothing, 57 sacks and 4 jumbo sacks of used shoes, 486 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products, 190 pieces of rugs, 5 units of vehicles, and 170 pieces of used tires. These successful interceptions underscore the NCS’s unwavering stance on maintaining the rule of law and protecting citizens’ interests.
“Other items seized in the last 2 weeks include: 291 Bales of Second-hand Clothing, 57 Sacks and 4 Jumbo Sacks of Used Shoes, 486 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products, 190 Pieces of Rugs, 5 Units of Vehicles and 170 pieces of used tyres,” Adeniyi noted.
Adeniyi highlighted the NCS’s proactive approach to enhancing road safety by addressing a hidden threat—smuggled used tires. He explained that the smuggling of these tires compromises their quality and safety, which could lead to accidents, endangering the lives of drivers and passengers alike.
According to him, “The 340 pieces of used tyres seized within the first two weeks of August 2023 by this unit is not only limited to the implementation of import prohibition lists but also a giant stride to mitigate auto crashes caused by smuggled used tyres. These tyres are squeezed, compressed and tucked into themselves for ease of concealment, thereby causing them to crack. They are oftentimes expired, their rigidity and strength compromised. Drivers could experience a blowout or sudden rupture as the steel wire meant to keep the tyres in shape has been disorganised in the course of smuggling.”
Adeniyi urged the public to recognize the far-reaching impacts of smuggling and drug abuse and to support the NCS’s mission.
He emphasized that these harmful activities affect the nation’s prosperity and the well-being of its citizens. Citizens were called upon to provide information that aids the NCS’s efforts in curbing smuggling and apprehending suspects.