In what may be likened to yuletide rush, operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ Owerri have arrested smugglers with marijuana, rice, used clothing and other contraband.
Comptroller Olusemire Kayode in charge of the Unit made the disclosure in a statement.
According to him, his officers and men at the Abia/Imo Command, Owerri, seized a truck loaded with 430 bags of rice, one Toyota Avalon sedan with 25 sacks of marijuana, a big bus with used fridges and used footwear. He said all the contraband were smartly concealed to deceive security operatives.
He said: “Suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures and they have been granted administrative bail pending further investigations.
The Comptroller also disclosed that the Unit’s roving team intercepted 556 bales of used clothing concealed in seven trucks,
“The team also seized over 2000 bags of rice and consignment of shoes. They are in government warehouse in Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi Command. The anti-smuggling battle continues and I commend the officers and men of this Unit for their dedication and dexterity in apprehending the smugglers. These people are economic saboteurs and we must protect the economic well being of Nigerians.
“It is worrisome that people buy used clothing and used underwears that you do not know the origin. It is unhealthy and should not be encouraged. In addition, most of our textile companies have gone moribund due to the smuggling activities”, Kayode stated.
He reiterated the doggedness and dedication of his officers and men to always thwart the activities of smugglers.
While calling on smugglers to turn a new leaf, Kayode urged smugglers to turn a new leaf or get ready for unpalatable consequences when eventually arrested in their nefarious activities.
On recent attacks on Customs officers while on duty, the Comptroller advised Nigerians stop forthwith, as it is tantamount to taking take laws into their own hands.
He explained that the lawful penalties of attacking a Customs officer on lawful duties according to Section 159 and 165 of the Customs and Excise Management Act include death.