By Uche Usim
In line with its mandate to rid the nation of prohibited goods, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’, Owerri has seized 24,273 cartons of imported frozen poultry products with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N256,264,200.
Spokesperson of the Unit, Onuigbo Ifeoma, quoted the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Haruna Mamudu as saying that the items were cleverly concealed in a Scania truck with an inscription ‘DHL’ and were seized on the Benin axis in Edo State.
According to her, three suspects were arrested in connection with the illegal business.
“The Customs Comptroller, represented by the Deputy Comptroller in charge of Enforcement, Mr. Oladesu Shola spoke on the consequences usually associated with the consumption of foreign frozen poultry products preserved with chemicals meant for the preservation of dead bodies and regretted that a number of untimely deaths had occurred as a result of this. The NCS had continued to ensure maximum media publicity in respect of the dangers posed to human health by imported frozen poultry products and warned those still engrossed in the illicit business to desist forthwith in their own interest or face the full weight of the law.
“He regretted that while the Nigeria Customs had remained resolute, consistent and diligent in the war against smuggling, those involved in the unpatriotic act had continued to devise and perfect many plans to achieve their illegal ambitions”, Ifeoma stated.
She further quoted the Deputy Controller as saying that the NCS is now better equipped, trained and transformed to deal decisively with smugglers wherever they operate with a superlative intelligence gathering system and unit.
“He assured that those already in the Customs’ net would undergo a thorough investigation and if found culpable would be made to face the music accordingly.
“We are now talking of a change but regrettably these smugglers are not ready to embrace the change meant for the betterment of our country. We have no other country called ours and therefore, all hands must be to the pump to salvage it,” she quoted her boss as saying.