The Niger/Kogi Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has made a total of 101 seizures and detention of exotic vehicles, 920 kegs (23,000 litres) of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and other contraband goods with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N755,377,866.00 in its anti-smuggling activities in three months.
In it’s revenue recovery operations, it made a total sum of 74,919,135.00, following the full operations of the Customs Processing Centre (CPC) and the approved posting of the Post Clearance Audit (PCA) and Valuation officers to the Command within a month, mainly from Demand Notices (DN) raised and the disposal of seized PMA.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Abubakar Mohammed Adamu who made this known during his maiden press conference since assumption as the CAC three months ago at the Command’s headquarters in Minna, said eight suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures and are being prosecuted in court.
Other seizures recorded within its Area of Responsibility (AOR) during the period under review include: 140 rolls of large size foreign rugs; 50 bales of second hand clothing; eight motorbikes used as means of conveyance; 200 pieces of used tyres and 88 bags of 50kg each of foreign parboiled rice found inside some of the seized vehicles.
The Command intercepted a Mistbush Canter vehicle loaded with assorted Supermarket goods such as 300 packs x 12pcs = 7,200pcs of Heinz beans; 50 packs x 12pcs = 600pcs of Tomato-Ketchup; 40 cartons x 6 = 240pcs of foreign wine; 22 cartons x 24pcs = 528pcs of spaghetti; 100pcks x 24pcs = 2,400pcs of Plum peeled tomatoes; 100 cartons x 24pcs =2400pcs of Mushroom pieces and stems; 30 cartons x 12pcs = 360pcs of Heinz vinegar.
Similarly, a Peugeot 35 bus loaded with 38 cartons of 5kg x 4pcs =152pcs basmati rice; 108 packs x 10pcs = 1080pcs of whipped cream; 23 cartons of Skittles Salad cream; 23 cartons x 8pcs = 184pcs of Various kinds of cookies; 18 packs of Nescafe and other items.
According to Compt. Adamu, the Command deployed massive intelligence and applied the rules of engagement in its operations to achieve the feats, adding that no casualties was recorded.
A Toyota Corolla car intercepted at the Mokwa axis, brought into the Command while the press briefing was ongoing.
He said: “Niger/Kogi Area Command is one of the largest hinterland Command in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with its main function being that of anti-smuggling, trade facilitation and carrying out Federal Government Fiscal policy directives. When I took over the mantle of leadership three (3) months ago, the Federal Government’s directive for all borders to be closed was still in place.
“The Command had just taken 13 brand new Toyota Hilux and Gun Trucks for operational purposes. With this on ground, we re-organized the operations of the Command by creating additional Roving Teams; the Command became unbearable to smugglers, those who ventured and non complaint traders engaged in smuggling have stories to tell thus the outcome is the seizures we are showcasing today”.
“In carrying out our Mandate, we have been engaging youths in our border communities and enlightening them on the ills of smuggling and other related vices to the Nigerian economy.
“I have directed the O/C’s Outstations to engage the royal fathers in their Area of Responsibility (AOR) and appealing to them to caution their wards and subjects to desist from smuggling.
“I want to make it clear to those living within Niger/Kogi Area Command and its environs that the Federal Government directive on border closure is still in force in Babanna; the only border station in the Command. Thus there are NO export or import activities through border until further notice”.
He warned smugglers and criminal elements that the command will always discover all illegal routes they use for their nefarious activities, make seizures, arrest and cripple their illegitimate businesses.
The CAC called on the general public to always assist with useful information, while also appreciating sister security agencies for the synergy that exists between them.
He applauded the Comptroller General of Customs and his Management team for finding him worthy of being deployed as the Customs CAC of the Command.
“You cannot have the kind of support I got from the Comptroller General, the Management team and from my officers and not able to perform. It is in justification of the aforementioned that I share with you today the record of our activities”, he added.