Customs Compliance Team confiscates N317m contraband

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By Deborah Coker


Benin   –     The Comptroller General of Customs Compliance Team, Zone C, said it confiscated N317 million worth of contraband between April and September.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Zone C comprises Edo, Delta, Anambra, Bayelsa, Rvers, Akwa ibom, Cross River, Ebonye, Enugu, Abia and Imo.

The National Coordinator of the Team, Comptroller of Customs, Ahmed Azarema, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Thursday that the contraband included poultry products, fake and non certified drugs, rice, used clothes, tyres and vehicles.

He disclosed that the zone had so far intercepted and destroyed 8,750 cartons of banned frozen products valued at more than N182 million, smuggled into the country.

He said that 1,149 cartons of fake and uncertified drugs valued at about N17.4 million were also intercepted within the period and handed over to NAFDAC.

Azarema disclosed that 4,373 bags of 50 kilogrammes banned foreign rice, valued at about N78.7 million, and 192 bales of used clothing valued at about N23 million were also seized within the period.

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Other contraband intercepted included 698 pieces of used tyres valued at N4.5 million while 30 vehicles with forged and faulty importation documents were also seized.

He, however, disclosed that more than N10.9 million had so far been raised through demand notice (DN) on 17 of the seized 30 vehicles, while the remaining 13 vehicles were still in the custody of the Nigerian Customs Service (NSC).

Azarema added that 13 suspects were arrested within the period, adding that they were being prosecuted.

He attributed the success recorded in the zone, especially the Edo axis, to the resilience, commitment to duty, doggedness and combined efforts of the team, led by Assistant Comptroller Oseni Musa-Ije and Kaila Shuaibu, the Officer in Charge of Benin axis.

Azarema gave assurance that from NCS officials close marking, activities of smugglers would no longer be attractive in the near future in the country.

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According to him, “every of their tricks has been uncovered due to the high level of intelligence report and mechanism put together to track down this economic saboteurs and their sponsors who dabble with the nation’s economy.

“How can a patriotic citizen, who means well for his father land decide to inflict serious damage on Nigerians without having a second thought ?”

He, therefore, warned those involved in illegal importation of contraband to desist from the illicit trade, “else, they would continue to lose their invested money to the government.”

He added that the NCS would ensure that no one was spared.

According to him, Col. Hameed Ali, the customs boss, in his reform policy, has given an assurance to eradicate smuggling from the Nigerian waterways, land borders and the Nigerian Ports.

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