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Customs seized N126.2 million smuggled goods in Kebbi in two months: Official

“Our operations so far have yielded positive outcomes leading to several seizures of items within the period under review.”

• April 19, 2024
Customs officers used to illustrate the story
Nigerian Customs officials used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: Channels TV]

Kebbi area command says it has seized smuggled goods worth N126.2 million within two months in its intensified fight against smuggling in the state.

The Customs Area Comptroller, Iheanacho Ernest-Ojike, made this known on Friday while briefing journalists on the command’s activities for March and April in Birnin Kebbi. 

He said that the command had intensified the fight against 

smuggling to curb its menace by engaging in intense patrols throughout the nooks and crannies, barely two months after the comptroller was posted to the state.

 “Our operations so far have yielded positive outcomes leading to several seizures of items within the period under review.

“We have seized 212 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50 kg each, and 28 bags of 25 kg each; 200 bales of used secondhand clothing (Jumbo size) and 50 bales of normal size,” he said.

Others, according to him, are; 10,025 litres of premium motor 

Spirit (PMS), 39 lumps of Indian Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) and 78 rolls of Diclofenac Sodium.

“300 wraps of diazepam tablets 5mg each, 57 packs of sex enhancement drug (Black Diamond) and 150 expired powdered milk, among others.

“The combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized items is N126.2 million.

“The PMS value is not included in the DPV because it is given at our revenue generation section as receipts from auction sales,” Mr Ernest-Ojike said.

He also said the command’s achievements were as a result of the resilience and courageous effort of the operations teams, intelligence unit, Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) and collaboration with sister agencies.

According to the controller, the Indian hemp will be handed over to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), while the Diazepam tablets will be given to NAFDAC as the appropriate agencies to attend to the respective substances.

He added that just recently, the federal government had authorised the re-opening of Kamba border as the only import/export outlet for the state.

“Even with this challenge, the command managed to generate the sum of N7.2 million in the two months under review, which is a 125 per cent increase as compared to the two previous months.

”The 10,025 litres of seized PMS, which is valued at N2 million, is expected to also increase the revenue when auctioned to the public,” Mr Ernest-Ojike said.

On trade facilitation, he said that the command had been engaging stakeholders on the need for legitimate trade.

“We also collaborate with relevant sister agencies to also enhance our operations in terms of security and intelligence to improve legitimate cross-border trade with our neighbours.

“It is notable to mention that exportation of grains is still restricted, and we are here to ensure they do not leave the shores of this country as it has become imperative to secure our locally produced grains.

“We need to prevent our country from plunging into a food crisis,” Mr Ernest-Ojike said.

The comptroller appreciated all well-meaning citizens who helped the command with useful information to nip smuggling in the bud.

 (NAN)

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