Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has vowed to extend its ant -smuggling fight in Northern Nigeria to kingpins and godfathers of the smuggling syndicate, saying also that they would focus on warehouses and stores, where the kingpins hide their consignments.
Kano/Jigawa Area Commander of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Nasir Ahmed disclosed this, on Thursday, at the Bompai headquarters of the Service while parading their recent seizures.
Officers of the Customs, he stated, intercepted over 2,000 bags of rice, 1000 bags of sugar and 50 kegs of vegetable oil valued at N50 million along Katsina axis, adding that the various goods were seized from 17 different trucks as they were being smuggled into the country.
According to him, the huge seizures were the result of a planned operation by officers of different units, namely the Customs Intelligent Unit, officers of Katsina/Kaduna Command, officers of Kano, Jigawa Command and Federal Operations among others.
He expressed displeasure over the menace of smuggling in the North, saying that it undermines the growth of agriculture as well as militate against and development of business in the region.
“The sad part of it is that, this (Katsina axis) is where the government is spending money to promote the production of rice, yet these are the same people that smuggling rice into the country” he stated.
He also remarked that smuggling represented a huge danger to security.
“The danger of smuggling these items is that we are seeing the rice wrapped in bags.
“Do we know whether there are other things inside the rice? Arms and ammunition could be hidden inside the bags of rice. Tramadol can be hidden inside bags of rice”.