The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Western Marine Command said, it seized snuggled goods worth N2.2 billion in the last 12 months.
The items, according to the acting Area Controller of the command, Mr Enonche Ochiba, were seized between January and early December this year.
Some of the items seized by the command include Heroine, Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana), Rice, Expired Drugs and other prohibited items.
Seven suspected smuggler, according to the controller, were arrested in connection with the seizures.
Last year, findings revealed, the command recorded seizures with total duty paid value of N1.1 billion .
Addressing reporters in Lagos yesterday, Ochiba said, officers of the command who were on intelligence gathering, intercepted a large quantity of premium motor spirit popularly called petrol in kegs along Seme Coastal border area.
“The Western Marine Command as the amphibious arm of the Service has the statutory responsibilities of suppressing smuggling activities and enforcing the Federal Government fiscal policies along the South Western waterways and creeks as enshrined in Section 149 (Power to search vehicles and ships), Section 158 (Power to patrol freely) and Section 167 (Provisions as to detention, seizure and condemnation of goods) of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 Laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (as amended).
“As you are all aware that I took over the mantle of leadership of Command on 2 July 2021 and upon my assumption, I re-jigged the operational activities of the Command by creating patrol and surveillance teams to complement the efforts of our existing patrol teams cut across South Western waterways thereby achieving seamless and efficient operations.
He said, the operatives of the Command under his watch recorded unprecedented seizures ranging from “ Heroine, Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana), Rice, Expired Drugs, Used Shoes, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and others with Seven suspects arrested in connection with the seized hard drugs which were handed over to the NDLEA for possible prosecution.
“On Wednesday, 8 December 2021 at about 0500hrs; in our continuing onslaught against smuggling on the waterways, the Officers/Men of Coastal and Harbour patrol (Bar-Beach) while on credible intelligence intercepted large quantity of PMS in Kegs at Ashipa Beach along Seme Coastal Border area.
The controller however, regretted that no arrest was made as the smugglers took to their heels upon sighting the patrol team. “But the kegs were secured and evacuated to the base. Upon examination it was found to be Eight Hundred and Sixty Five (865) Kegs of 25litres each of PMS given a total of 21,625 litres.
“The total value of the seizure is N3, 633,000. I will like to seize this opportunity to call on members of the public to provide the operatives of the Service with genuine information that would aid in the fight against smuggling in the Country.
“We are all aware that the Federal Government is paying huge amount of money in subsidizing the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) for the benefit of its citizenry, but the smugglers are sabotaging the efforts of the Federal Government for their gain at the detriment of all Nigerians.
“It is my pleasure to inform you also, that the Officers/Men of the Command are well equipped in the fight against smuggling along the waterways as evident by the record of Seizures in the year 2021.
The Command, it was gathered, was from January to yesterday, December, 22, made several seizures with Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N2, 215, 180, 073. as against the Total DPV of N1, 104,647,370.00 recorded in the Year 2020 representing over 100 per cent increase.