Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service in its maiden press briefing on the performance of the unit anti-smuggling activities between January 1st till date, disclosed that a total of 142,677 seizures of different items were made.
Speaking to news men, the Acting Controller of the Unit, DC Yahaya Usman added that from January 1st, 2021 till date, the units operatives in the field have been attacked at various points and times while on and out of operations.
Some of the attacks, Yahaya said resulted into maiming and killing of officers and destruction of official vehicles.
Despite the hostile posture of these dare devil smugglers; he hinted that the Unit remain unshaken in fulfilling its core mandates.
Highlighting the seized items, the unit head disclosed that the smugglers thought they could cash on the opening of Seme border by the Federal Government to perpetrate their evil acts, but the Unit left them with heavy losses as evidenced in the seizures made.
He listed the seized items to include : 41,652 bags of 50kg smuggled parboiled rice; 1,356 bags of 25kg smuggled parboiled rice; 4,529kg of Indian hemp, 66 packs of Tramadol; 5,849 cartons of fake drugs; 266 units of means of conveyance and 218 used vehicles.
Others include 1,660 bales of textiles; 2,152 kegs of 25kg vegetable oil; 6,985 cartons of frozen poultry products, and 985 kegs of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) were seized as well as the arrest of 44 suspects in connection with the seizures. The total Duty Paid Value (DPV) is over N30,000,000,000.
Yahaya disclosed that the tremendous and full support receive from the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) regarding increased welfare, gives no room and reason to fail.
In his words “The enormous tasks before the Unit cannot be overemphasized being the enforcement hub of the South West Zone. As smuggling and smugglers become more sophisticated and deadly, the Unit remains resolute and prepared to smoke them out.
“As a Unit, we will continue to re-strategize to ensure that smugglers don’t have a hiding place. Instead of incurring losses, I will advise smugglers to embrace legitimate business and become responsible citizens” he said.