The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’, FOUC, had in the last two moth intercepted cannabis sativa, raw materials for the fabrication of explosive devices, and other contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.6 billion in the South East.
The FOUC also arrested nine people in connection with the seizures from July 25 to September 23rd, 2023.
The Acting Comptroller, FOUC, DC Kayode Kolade, revealed this on Monday in a statement made available to Pmnews.ng by Jerry Attah, the Public Relation Officer, Custom FOUC in Owerri, Imo State capital.
The Customs boss, who frowned at the spate of smuggling in the zone, however, stated that operatives successfully recovered the sum of Fifty-Four Million, Two Hundred and Forty-Four Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-One Naira (N1,634,794,571.00) from demand notices raised based on some infractions noticed, making a total sum of One Billion, Six Hundred and Thirty-Four Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety-Four Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-One Naira (N1,634,794,571.00) only within the months under review.
The statement added, “Other contraband items seized include 417 sacks of cannabis sativa also known as Indian hemp weighing 9,194kg and 627 compressed parcels of same Indian hemp 1kg each totaling 627kg, and 9 sacks 50kg each of explosives’ raw materials.
“Other seized items include 1,329 bags, 50kg each of smuggled foreign parboiled rice; 5 cartons of DSP cough syrup with codeine 100mg containing 1000 bottles; 1 unit of armored Bullion Van; 761 jumbo bales of second-hand clothing; 883 cartons of various.
“In addition to the seized items were unregistered/expired medicaments including tramadol; 100 cartons of various wines; 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tires; 335 cartons of smuggled foreign tomato paste; 300 cartons of foreign spaghetti.
“Based on prompt intelligence and sting operation, the rice was intercepted along Calabar/Akwa Ibom axis and Okada/Benin expressway, the 417 sacks and 627 parcels of Indian hemp were intercepted at Okada-Benin and Ewu-Auchi Expressway respectively. 761 Jumbo bales of used clothing mostly concealed in trucks and buses were intercepted along Umeikaa/Aba Road and Okada-Benin Road.
“The 5 cartons of DSP cough syrup with codeine, and 883 cartons of unregistered medicaments were intercepted along Benin/Asaba/Onitsha Expressway.
The armored Bullion Van without customs documents and End User Certificate was intercepted along the Okada/Benin Expressway. 100 cartons of wine and 335 tomato paste were intercepted along Ewu/Ibilo axis, and 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tyres were also intercepted along the Cross River waterside and Okada-Benin Expressway.”
Kolade also voiced concern about the smuggling of explosives, despite the fact that the country is still dealing with the issues connected with insecurity, and urged smugglers to stop immediately in the interest of humanity or face prosecution.
“More worrisome is the interception of 9 sacks 50kg each of explosive materials (fertilizer, device cables, and superpower90 chemicals). We all know the security implications if these explosive components get to their destination unchecked.
“It may interest you to know that Superpower 90 is designed for priming applications and as a column explosive in surface and underground mining and general blasting. The high detonation velocity and the robust nature of Superpower 90 make it an ideal primer for the initiation of column charge. Let us not just imagine if dynamites and landmines are detonated using these items “, he said.
He congratulated the Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, on his appointment to oversee the affairs of the Service and described it as “well deserved considering his pedigree, dedication, and commitment to the service”.
“ We will all make sure he succeeds as his leadership style has started yielding positive results in our operations. I thank the Ag. Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi MFR, and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for their efforts so far in providing needed incentives and necessary logistics that aided our performance. To my dear colleagues, Customs Intelligence Unit, Customs Police, I must commend your prompt intelligence sharing, resilience, and tenacity that brought about this stride “, he added.