Uche Usim, Abuja
Customs Service Federal Operations Unit, Zone C Owerri, has arrested six smugglers in connection with several seizures with a duty paid value of N492 million.
The Customs Controller of the Unit Owerri, Comptroller Olusemire Kayode, who made the disclosure in a statement gave the breakdown of the seizures to include: 1,920 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, two 40 feet containers containing 612 chairs, a 40ft feet container of 521 bales of used clothing, and another truck with 61 bales of second hand clothing concealed within, totalling 582 bales.
Other items seized are: 1,182 cartons of Analgin injections, 100 ampoules of 5ml 100×18 pieces totalling 180,000 ampoules, amongst prohibited items. On the devious antics of smugglers, Olusemire urged well-meaning Nigerians to come forward with useful information that will help curb the nefarious activities of smugglers in the nation. He said: “Some Nigerians are desperate and are in the habit of breaking the law. These acts are undermining our economy. People should not ruin the economy of the country because of the ill gains they hope to make in business.
“We’ve seized these illicit goods and we are here to ensure that prohibited items do not enter this country. It is believed that the positive outcomes of the border drill exercise; the activities of the strike force and federal operation units would cause such people to have a rethink. Instead, these smugglers come up with new ideas and new ways of smuggling. We will decimate their efforts and continue to advocate that the people involved should stop this business. We are sensitising people to fully support the federal government in building the nation.”
The Customs controller further hinted that the importers concealed the 521 bales of used clothes in a container in a bid to evade detection. He added that the Analgin medicine, which was concealed in another container, had been banned since 2005 because of its adverse effects on human been banned by the National Agency For Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC).