The Joint Border security patrol ‘Drill sector four’ under the Exercise Swift Response, has recorded over N300 million seizures in the last two weeks.
Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed, newly deployed Commander of the sector comprising Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa and Kaduna states, said that the combined efforts of Nigeria Customs Service and Armed Forces busted several smuggling attempts.
Mohammed who was in Yauri, Kebbi State yesterday, disclosed that a huge petroleum smuggling cartel was trailed and uncovered by his men. He disclosed that tankers of petroleum products suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit ( PMS) were discovered at a location where smugglers discharged them into drums ahead of smuggling through the borders.
The sector also made seizures of PMS in Jerry cans last week including rice, textiles, cars and other smuggled items in the areas covered by his sector. Aliyu who was recently deployed from Federal Operations Unit in Lagos, said the operations were carried out in a strategic manner to avoid fire outbreak or explosions that could emanate from petroleum products.
According to him, the tankers, pipes, drums, Jerry cans and other tools being deployed to aid the smuggling act have been seized.
“I must commend men of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Immigration Service and my very gallant customs officers who are working round the clock for us to achieve these seizures.
“The smugglers never expected what we are doing to them and we will continue to take them by surprise by storming their storehouses, depots for trans loading and intercepting whatever they are smuggling in or out of the country.
“Illegally taking petrol meant for Nigerian use out of the country through borders is an act of economic sabotage and we must not allow it to stand. These smugglers are enemies of the country and our people.
“They divert full petrol tankers to remote places and empty the petrol into drums and Jerry cans for ease of smuggling through the borders.
“What we are doing in this operation, particularly in Sector 4 is to protect our country from insecurity and protect the economy from saboteurs who do not mean well for us .
“By the mandate given to me by the Controller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, we will continue to make life difficult for smugglers all the time. This is just the beginning of more action to come
“We are moving into places they never thought we will enter. I can confirm to you that we are fully deploying our manpower and total logistics to maximum use for us to get these results,” he said.