In its efforts to pin down smugglers and enforce border closure introduced to avert illgal importation of arms and other items into Nigeria, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Oyo/ Osun Command has said that more than sixty- three (63) persons have now been nabbed for smuggling some prohibited items into the country.
The new Customs Area Controller (CAC), in charge of Oyo and Osun States, Helen Ngozi made this known in a chat with journalists in her office in Ibadan.
The Area Controller said the command would deal with the arrested smugglers who had evaded the law to smuggle various goods to the country through illegal routes despite the fact of the tight security at our boarders.
She said the criminals are desperate but due to the surveillance and didication of officers of the command, they were able to apprehend them.
On the activities of the command towards the improvement of its revenue she said “we generated the sum of twenty billon, fifty one million, eight hundred and five thousand, one hundred and seventy nine naira only (N20,051,805,179) between January and April this year.”
She pointed out that the command also intercepted three thousand, four hundred and sixty-fivs bags of rice, 13 kegs of vegetable oil, 44 gallons of vegetable oil, 20 units of used tyres, 310 drums of 100 liters of PMS, 180 kegs of PMS and 180 bales of second hand clothing materials
According to the Area Controller, the 63 suspects were arrested at various locations within the command area of coverage, saying that her men carried out the anti-smuggling activities with utmost professionalism.
Mrs Ngozi said hat the nefarious activities of the criminals also include bunkering whlich led to the closure of some petrol stations found to be involved in the illegal activities.
She noted that the cumulative duty paid value of all the seizures including means of conveyance from January to April amounted to three hundred and twelve million, one hundred and eighty nine thousand, four hundred and fifty six naira only (N312,189,456).
Ngozi said, “With smart intelligence gathering, we were. able to identify a petrol filing station carrying out illegal activities within its premises. The petrol station has been sealed and arrested suspects were made to write statement and undertaking to desist from such illicit activities.”
“During our anti-smuggling activities of March and April 2020, the command has made seizures of 310 drums of 100 liters each and 180 kegs of 25 litres each of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) at different points and axis of the command. They will be auctioned and the proceeds will be remitted accordingly.
“We made an unusual seizure of 180 bales of second hand clothing from the train operated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation with duty paid value of N13,252,311. Other seizures include 3465 bags of 50kg parboiled rice with duty paid value of N82,636,185, 13 kegs of 25 litres of each of vegetable oil with duty paid value of N282,426, 44 gallons of 4 litres of each of vegetable oil with duty paid value of N278,805, 20 units of used tyres with duty paid value of N162,938. The total paid value for these seizures is N96,612,665.
“For this phase of seizures, the total paid value is equivalent to N193,777,829.
“In summary, the cumulative duty paid value from January to April is N312,189,456.
“Within the period under review, we have made 72 seizures and 63 detentions. We have carried out our enforcement and anti-smuggling activities with utmost professionalism, caution, and intelligence gathering”.