The federal Operations Unit (FOU), Ikeja Customs Command, Zone ‘A’ has made arrest of two consignments of banned frozen poultry products.
They were concealed in two trucks and were confiscated at two different locations within the jurisdiction of the command in Lagos.
Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Umar Mohammed Dahiru, explained that since the command had given the smugglers sustained attack along the nation’s borders within its jurisdiction; the illicit traders have resorted to concealing banned products inside genuine goods or known companies’ trucks.
Conducting journalists round the seized but decomposing frozen poultry products, Umar said “What you see here is another tactics smugglers have devised by using official company trucks and disguising as if they are carrying out corporate duties with the vehicles”.
“So you can see, the smuggled frozen poultry products are smartly concealed with cartoons of Guinness beer and the long trailer is filled up” he said.
He could not however give estimated value of the frozen poultry products but said the Guinness truck and the Beer may be counted as seizures depending on the outcome of investigations by his command.
Umar however noted that even though the position of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) on the mode of carriage of the seizures are clear that both carrier and content are to be held, there is an understanding between truck owners and Customs management that after investigations in every containerized cargo seizure, if it was established that the truck owner was not aware of the act, the truck can be released but the driver and all accomplices must face the law.
In another truck of seized frozen poultry products at the Command, Umar said the seizure had been examined and counted with relevant agencies and a total of 3,328 cartons worth N18m was the value of the seizure.
The Comptroller revealed that the seizures were coming from various patrol teams and check points by the command to stamp out smuggling across the routes under the Command.
He therefore advised the smugglers to put their money in legitimate businesses and stop smuggling because his men are always at alert to arrest and impound their cargos.
In another two 20 feet container loaded with timber cut to size, Comptroller Umar said his men at the Tincan Island Port seized it because the relevant regulation and laws have banned exportation of timber to protect forest resources and his him suspected the containers and caught them at the Tincan gate.
He said in all, the seizures, the exhibits were not abandoned as two suspects were arrested.
Meanwhile, the Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, has intercepted 48 bales of cannabis, also known as Indian hemp, with market street value of N150,000,000.
The command also arrested a 24-year old suspect by the name Bala Mamudu who is from Hausa village in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos and has been handed over to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Addressing journalists in Lagos, Customs Area Controller; Comptroller Umar Yusuf, disclosed that the dangerous drugs were intercepted on Tuesday 9th of February, 2016.
The Western Marine Customs boss further disclosed that the products and the suspect were accosted at Igbo Ojanla near Badagry in Lagos.
Comptroller Yusuf who was in company of the Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, Mr. Charles Edike and the Lagos state Commander of NDLEA while parading the suspect before journalists at the command’s jetty, in Lagos added that the seized items weigh about 4,500 kilogramme.
He also stated that the weeds were intercepted at about 12:05am while being imported into Nigeria from Ghana.