Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Anti-Smuggling unit of the Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun 1 Command, have intercepted N2.5 million in fake currency notes at Ihunbo customs checkpoint along Sango-Idiroko road.
The team also intercepted 40 drums of industrial alcohol (ethanol), also seizing 160 twenty five litre kegs of petrol at a smuggling hideout at Iko-gate along Idiroko road.
Spokesperson of Ogun 1 Command of the NCS, Abdullahi Maiwada, who stated this in a statement on Wednesday, said a suspect, identified as Samson Odebija, was arrested in connection with the fake currencies.
During interrogation, the suspect confessed that he was commissioned by an Islamic cleric to help him transport the fake currency notes to Owode from Idiroko border with a promise to reward him with N5,000.
On the intercepted 40 drums of ethanol, Maiwada said the products were stamped by NAFDAC for strictly industrial use. Further investigation revealed that some unscrupulous elements engaged in the illegal distribution of the products to vendors in Idiroko town who dilute it with water and sell it as an alcoholic beverage.
He explained that that suspected smugglers have devised another method to smuggle petrol across the borders by hiding their tankers and using other vehicles as shields from public view.
“They (smugglers) further nefariously constructed a pipe with an outlet sited in a cassava farm. The fuel is then siphoned into a tank and then into jerry cans with an intention to export the said items in batches outside the country,” Maiwada said.
“To this end, the Controller of NCS, Ogun 1, Michael Agbara, has appealed to the general public to embrace legitimate means of livelihood and to avoid smuggling in all its ramifications. The eagle eyes of our operatives are all around Ogun State to halt new techniques adopted or will be brought up by smugglers to perpetuate their illicit acts,” the Customs spokesman noted in his statement.