In line with its anti-smuggling operations, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ Owerri has intercepted a truck loaded with two pump action rifles, 4375 rounds of ammunition and military camouflage all neatly concealed to deceive security operatives.
The contraband were intercepted along 9th Mile Road in Enugu. The operatives of the unit also intercepted a truck with cartons of tramadol tablet and codeine syrup, used tyres and packets of cigarette concealed along Headbridge axis.
Comptroller Olusemire Kayode, the Customs Area Controller of FOU Zone C, Owerri speaking at a press briefing, said the seizures were made following tip-off from sources. He also disclosed that over 150 bags of 50kg rice were found concealed behind sacks of palm kernel in a truck intercepted on Aba/Eleme axis.
Comptroller Olusemire affirmed the dedication of his officers and men to ensure that smuggling is brought to a minimum in the zone and urged the public to support the fight against the menace.
On the seizures of the drugs, he explained that most vices in the society are fuelled by the abuse of drugs, adding that the rate of criminality will reduce if the abuse of drugs is checked. He also said that the import of military uniform is controlled.
He enjoined the press to help in the sensitisation against illegal imports.
“We do not do our work to showcase ourselves but to sensitise people about the socio-economic ills of smuggling. Smuggling has a lot of adverse effect on the economy and we need you to sensitise the public. We need to reduce the rate of criminality in our nation and my warning to would-be smugglers in Zone ‘C’ to desist and turn a new leaf.”
Also showcasing seizures in Benin, the Comptroller urged those importing cars to pay the appropriate duty on the vehicles to avoid running foul of the law. He explained that cars are not prohibited but people do not pay duty and do not import through the right channels.
“Cars are not banned but people do not often pay duty. The extant regulation said importation of cars and rice should be through the sea ports but people still prefer to come in through the bush. That is not ignorance but a deliberate intent to evade payment of duty and I urge all would-be importers to pay the appropriate duties and import through the right channels.
“As Christmas approaches, we are sounding a note of warning that we are ready and prepared in Zone ‘C’. This zone will not be a safe haven for smugglers. We will fish you out no matter your tricks or modes of conveyance,” he warned.
The seizures include 12 cars, 131 sacks of cannabis sativa and 808 bags of 50kg rice among others with total duty paid value of N240,000,000.
The Comptroller who noted that the use of Cannabis Sativa fuels vices in the society as miscreants derive energy to commit atrocities from it urged smugglers to have a rethink and support the agriculture industry and invest in local rice.
He urged the public to visit any customs formation in case they need any information