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Customs warns smugglers, seize goods worth millions of Naira

Michael Olanrewaju

The Joint Border Operations Drill Sector 3 of the Nigeria Customs Service has warned smugglers to stop their illegal trade or be sent to five years jail.

This was just as the sector paraded goods like imported rice, second hand vehicles, used clothes and used tyres seized from smugglers.

Addressing the press conference on the activities of the zone in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Wednesday, the Acting Coordinator of JBOD, Muhammed Ubah Garba disclosed that a container lorry loaded with 1,346 bags of banned imported rice worth N18.3million, another lorry with 76 bags of banned imported rice, worth N11.3million, used clothes worth worth N11.7million as well as used tyres were seized from smugglers between January and February, 2020.

He described this as ” feat achieved based on our core functions of suppression of smuggling, Revenue generation Trade facilitation and Community Service.

“It is however important to reiterate that the sector 3 covers North central states, Niger, Kwara, Kogi and Benue states.

“One of our focal points since assumption is sensitization, engagement of stakeholders of all the border communities of Ilesha-Baruba, Yashkira, Chikanda and Okuta axis of Baruten Local Government area of Kwara State. Kaiama-Jebba-Mokwa-Wawa-Babanna-Kotangora axis of Kwara and Niger States respectively. Lokoja-Abuja-Lagos-Express Road of Kogi State and Otukpa, Adikpo-Ugbema axis of Benue State where we met and engaged the Stakeholders and Traditional leaders of the various aforementioned communities.

“Just last week, IPMAN, PDT, NURTW and Commercial drivers association were invited to this particular spot on the continuation of our sensitization program. Gentlemen of the Press, I assure you that we will continue to sensitize and engage our stakeholders on the benefit of border closure.

According to him, the benefits of border closure includes ; creation of job opportunities to our teaming youths, reduction Banditry, Human trafficking and illegal migrants, reduction of smuggling, enhancement of production of locally made goods, tackling Security challenges like Banditry, Kidnapping, Smuggling, cattle rustling and illegal migrants, increases in Revenue Generation, improves Synergy among other security agencies, reduction of daily consumption of petroleum product due to blockage of illegal exportation based on Statistics obtained.

Other seizures made according to Garba includes ; 57 units of vehicles of various types,1,355 bags of foreign rice (50kg each) Three (3) Long Single Barrel Guns, Knives and 3 Cutlasses at Lokoja axis of Kogi State Handed over to “B” division Police Station Lokoja, two (2) Long Single Barrel Guns, 8 life cartridges and one locally made Pistol at Kotangora axis of Niger State were handed over to “A” division Police Station Kotangora, 20 Bags of Dried Yam Flour of 100kg each, 1,728 Jerry Cans of PMS/Engine oil (25 liters each), 155 Drums with Petroleum Product and Lubricant oil, 16 Motorcycles popularly called Bajaj used in smuggling rice, 12 Bales of Secondhand Clothing and Textile Materials, 68 Jerry Cans of Groundnut Oil of 25 liters each, 322 Cartons of Foreign Cosmetics, 9 Cartons of Foreign Tin Tomatoes, 7 Beninoise and 13 Nigerien illegal migrants were repatriate

He added that, “We have Six (6) Suspects who were currently on Administrative bail.
Total Duty Paid Value of the above items is One Hundred and Thirty Five Million, One Thousand, Four Hundred Naira (N135, 001,400.00)
Apart from Arms, the above seizures were made in different locations of Sector 3 of Joint Border Operations Drill.”

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