By Tunde Olowu.
The Federal Operations Unit, Zone C, Owerri, Nigeria Customs Service has arrested 18 suspected smugglers, for being in possession of various contraband items.
The Area Controller of the unit, Victor Dimka, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in his office in Owerri.revealed that a total of 37 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N179,523,600 were recorded in January 2015, noting that the seizure was higher than what was recorded in January 2014, which was 11 with a DPV of N93 million.
The seizures, which he pointed out were effected at various locations within the zone include 13 cars, 14 SUVs, five trucks and four buses, 636 cartons of imported frozen poultry products, 800 bags of cement, 800 pieces of used tyres, and 2,155 cartons of foreign soap and creams.
Other seizures include 274 bales of second hand clothing and stockings , 17 pieces of tarpaulin, 12 pieces of PVC rubber carpet and 51 bags of 50kg foreign rice.
The Area Controller attributed successes recorded by the Zone C to series of innovations put in place by the management of NCS under the leadership of the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Abdullahi Dikko Inde.
He gave kudos to sister agencies such as the State Security Services (SSS), the Niigeria Police, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and media organisations for their continued cooperation in the fight against smugglers.
He commended members of the public for their courage and patriotism by supplying the unit with relevant information about nefarious activities of smugglers , assuring them that such information given by them will be treated with utmost secrecy.
“We wish to notify these smugglers that we have been trained and well oriented under the management of the CGC to meet our challenges and it is left for those still entrapped in smuggling to desist forthwith or be prepared to face the consequences of their act if arrested,” he stated.
Dimka advised members of the public wishing to purchase vehicles to ensure that they go through the official channels and clear with the Customs before investing their money, warning that all illegally imported goods will continue to be impounded as ignorance of the law is no excuse
The Area Controller, FOU Zone C, disclosed that the NCS has upgraded its information network with the officers and men properly trained and motivated to effectively neutralise the operations of the smugglers across the length and breadth of the country.