The Comptroller General of Customs Strike force in zone A has made seizures worth over N6.6 billion within the period of eight weeks.
The Co-ordinator of the Strike force, Deputy Comptroller Mohammed Sani Yusuf made this known to Newsmen on Wednesday while conducting them round the warehouses in Ikeja and Ikorodu.
He gave the seized contraband goods to include no less than 4000 bags of foreign parboiled rice (an equivalent of about seven truck loads), 1,030 slabs of donkey skin, 387kg of cannabis sativa, 285 bales of used clothes and 1,613 cartons of Codeine cough syrup (100ml per bottle).
Others are 132 cartons of 200mg Sildenafil Citrate, 40 cartons of Tramadol, 5 cartons of Chilly Cutter, 1,080 pairs of ladies shoes, 110 cartons of ladies bags, 115 cartons of ladies gel among other items, with a total duty paid value of six billion, six hundred and fourty-four million, four hundred and seventy-two thousand, five hundred and twenty naira (N6,644,472,520).
Yusuf stated that the federal government through the ministry of health had banned the production/ exportation of codeine because of its gross abuse, noting that the use and abuse of drugs is responsible for the substantial cause of different social vices and criminalities in the society.
This is witnessed in the pervasive outburst of insecurity, hence all patriotic citizens are enjoined to support the fight against smuggling of any kind”.
He hinted that the quest to smuggle foreign parboiled rice into the country has been on the increase, despite concerted efforts by the federal government to encourage local production.
He stated that the attendant effects of smuggling foreign rice into the country include, but not limited to: increase in the rate of unemployment, draining of the nation’s foreign exchange, health hazards among others.
According to him, the continuous extermination of wild life, in this case donkey skin, has negative impact on the bio- diversity in the ecosystem, as consistent elimination of donkeys will eventually lead to the extinction of the specie, which will consequently affect the ecosystem.
The anti-smuggling unit boss said that by their mandate, “we shall always ensure compliance with all customs extant laws ensure complete payment of duties and penalties through the issuance of Demand Notices (DN) when necessary.
“Our resolve to step on the fight against smuggling and enemies of the economy is renewed every day because smugglers are unrelenting.
“We won’t allow them have their way through whichever means they choose.
Our 24 hour patrols using the logistics support provided by the Comptroller General, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd) has yielded more results in addition to seizures showcased in the last two months.”
DC Mohammed Sani Yusuf however warned smugglers to look for more rewarding job to do as the zone is a no go area for their illegal trade.