…nets over N638m in September
The Seme border command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Friday invaded Gbaji, a border community in Lagos, where it evacuated and seized about two thousand three hundred (2,300) bags of smuggled rice from various houses.
A statement issued in Lagos on Friday by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Selechang Taupyen, and made available to TheNiche newspaper said that the seized rice has a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of fifty-seven million, one hundred and nineteen thousand, two hundred and fifteen naira (N57,119,215.00).
Taupyen observed that the information-driven operation exposed the illegal activities of those economic saboteurs who might have connived with officers that refused to heed to the clarion call for a reformed and a rejuvenated Nigeria Customs Service.
He pointed out that the intention of the smugglers to confront the officers and men of the service was averted following the reinforcement and seamless collaboration with the Nigerian Army 243 Reece Battalion Badagry adding that the practical synergy led to the house to house operation and evacuation of the smuggled products where they were kept.
According to him,”Empowered by the enabling laws that set up the Nigeria Customs Service; Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) No. 55 OF 1958 (Now Law of Federation of Nigeria LFN CAP C45 2004), Section 46, 47, 48, 57, 64, 68, 147, 149 and 150 provide penalty for improper/illegal importation/exportation of goods, and empowers Customs officers to search premises, vehicles, Aircrafts and persons amongst others;
“The Seme Area Command in demonstration, pursuant and compliance with the above sections of CEMA, has proven that smugglers cannot continue to operate under customs jurisdiction of operations using the community as a cover without facing the full wrath of the law.
“The dare-devil smugglers who intends to test the might of the Nigeria Customs Service despite the closure of the border to the movement of illegitimate goods across the border met their waterloo on the 5th of October, 2017.
“Coincidentally, the operation at Gbaji border community took place on a date scheduled for the Customs Community Consultative Forum in which the Baale of Gbaji border community was in attendance. The Controller reiterated his appeal for cooperation with the host communities in curbing trans-border crimes, some of the community leaders who bore their minds dissociated the involvement of the indigenes of their communities”.
Commenting on the successful operation in conjunction with the Nigeria Army, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed commended the effort of the Commanding Officer 243 Reece battalion, Col. UB Garba for his prompt response in partnering with them to actualize the mandate of the Service.
He also appreciated the existing cordial community relationship and called on the leaders of the communities to further sensitize their youth against joining forces with the carriers and smugglers who may not come from their immediate communities to destroy the peaceful co-existence between the Nigeria Customs and the host communities.
The Customs Area Controller stressed and warned that no amount of intimidation by the smugglers to use the Seme border route for smuggling activities would be tolerated nor permitted.
He said that the command would continue to work with the Nigeria Army and the communities in order to nib the activities of smugglers in the bud while enjoining the host communities to give intelligence report to the Nigeria Customs Service of any smuggler under their domain in order not to portray the community as collaborators, partners or harboring illegalities within their domain.
The Customs Area Controller restated his commitment to work strictly in line with the policy thrust of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) as he strictly upheld the federal government policies at the land borders.
The CAC warned officers and men of the service to desist from conniving with trans-border miscreants who were desperate in their quest for indulging in trans-border crimes at all times.
Meanwhile, the Seme Area Command collected a total sum of six hundred and thirty-eight million, five thousand, one hundred and ninety-four naira and sixty nine kobo (N638,005,194.69) in the month of September, 2017.
The anti-smuggling unit of the command also made a total of twenty-one (21) seizures with a duty paid value of thirteen million, five hundred and eight thousand, four hundred and five naira (N13,508,405.00) for the month under review