By Steve Agbota
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), yesterday intercepted 42 drums of calcium carbide smuggled into the country from Benin Republic. The Unit also said that the service is backed by section 158 of Customs Excise and Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45,LFN 2004 as amended to patrol and search everywhere without restrictions while section 147 of the same CEMA empower the service to enter any premises without search warrant provided there is credible information about contraband deposited there in.
Security experts have warned that if calcium carbide get into hands of criminals, it can be used as explosives to bring down a building especially when some chemical components are added to it.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, the acting Customs Area Controller of the unit, Compt. Usman Yahaya, stated that aside from calcium cabide, the unit also seized contraband worth N3.1billion, raised Demand Notice (DN) worth N242million. The CAC who said the unit acted based on credible intelligence disclosed that the explosives were smuggled into the country through the porous borders under the Ogun State command of the service.
He said: “We intercepted the 42 drums of calcium carbide through intelligence gathering. The contraband were in a truck and concealed with cassava tubers and flakes. They thought with the concealment, they can evade the eagle eye of our officers.