Tuesday, September 28, 2021

3,447 cannabis parcels, 10,608 rice bags, 109 vehicles intercepted by customs in 2021: Official

The contrabands were intercepted by the Seme Area Command of Nigeria Customs, from January to August.

• September 14, 2021

A total of 3,447 parcels of cannabis sativa, 10,608 bags of rice, 109 used vehicles and other items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N886,428,163 were intercepted by the Seme Area Command, Nigeria Customs Service, from January to August.

The controller of the command, Bello Jibo, disclosed this during a press briefing at the command’s office in Seme-Krake border, Lagos state.

Mr Jibo attributed the feat to the commitment of officers and men and women of the command and a good working relationship with stakeholders.

“Efforts of the valiant officers and men of the command translated into remarkable interceptions of 1,244 smuggled items with a DPV of N886 million.

“The command, in July 2021, made a huge seizure of 3,186 parcels of Cannabis Sativa concealed with sharp sand on the Badagry-Seme Road.

“In our last press briefing, the command handed over 232 parcels of Cannabis Sativa to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Special Command, Seme.

“Securing our borders is a collective responsibility; the Nigeria Customs Service ensures inter-agency cooperation at the border,” he said.

Mr Jibo said the command has handed the seized cannabis to the NDLEA.

“The street values of these items are estimated to be N98,983,836.40. Similarly, the reinvigorated command’s drive against the smuggling of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol has recorded tremendous achievements,” he said.

The controller said that during the period under review, the command intercepted jerry cans of petrol equivalent to eight tanker loads of 33,000 litres, each.

“Other seizures made within the period under review include 44 bags of fertiliser, 608 cartons of frozen poultry products, 784 rolls of cigarettes and 843 cartons of tomato paste.

“We also seized 605 pairs of used shoes, 24 sacks of used clothes, 19 pieces of used tyres, 153 sachets of herbicides and 1,419 packs of different drugs and other general merchandise.

“Out of the total smuggled vehicles intercepted, 37 are in court awaiting condemnation,” he said.

The controller said that the successes were also attributable to vigorous intelligence gathering through collaboration with host communities and security agencies.

“It is also as a result of determination of our officers and men in ensuring compliance with extant government fiscal policies relating to imports and exports,” Mr Jibo said.

On revenue, Mr Jibo said the Benin Republic economic policies affected the revenue of the command, noting that all goods transiting through the country were mandated to be charged some duties.

According to him, this is contrary to ECOWAS protocols and international transit agreements. Nevertheless, Mr Jibo said the command generated N718,828,529.85 as revenue during the period under review.

“The command processed and exited exported trade volume of 635,149.23 MT, with the Free On Board (FOB) value of N15,564,130,500 only, and the NESS value of N78,203,779.81 only, during the period under review.

“Under ETLS, the command treated and exited 1,314 trucks of goods under the scheme. The grand total for both seizures and revenues during the period under review is N1,605,256,693.26 only.

“It is pertinent to appreciate the maximum cooperation received from stakeholders, the border communities, security agencies and the media toward achieving our core mandate of revenue collection and suppression of smuggling,” he added.

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