The Joint Border Patrol Team, Sector 2, South West Zone of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced that it impounded a total of 11,419 smuggled items worth N327,639,400 between April 12 to May 26, 2023.
Coordinator of the team, Comptroller Mohammed Nasir Usman who made this known during a media briefing on Friday at the Customs Training College, Ikeja, said that it also made auction of seized items to the tune of N6,789,500.
He gave a breakdown of the seizures as 5,883 (50kg) bags of imported foreign parboiled rice; 3,580 (30litres) Jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS);
45 cars and two motorcycles used as means of conveyances.
Others are: 61 pieces of used tyres; 10 sacks of Cannabis Sativa; 14 sacks of leather bags; eight bales of Secondhand clothing; five imported fairly used cars; one Dane gun and and one live ammunition.
According to him, the seizures have been deposited at various Commands of the Service.
He said: “Ogun 2 Command Abeokuta: 2,338 bags of 50kg parboiled foreign rice;
723 (30litres) Jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); 61 pieces of used tyres; 17 vehicles used as means of conveyances; 1 motorcycle; 10 sacks of Cannabis Sativa; 14 sacks of New Leather bags and 8 bales of Second hand clothings.
“Ogun 1 Command, Idiroko: 2,064 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice; 814 (30 litres) Jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); 18 vehicles used as means of conveyances; and 3 imported used cars.
“Oyo/Osun Command: 433 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice; 694 (30 litres) Jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); 4 vehicles used as means of conveyances and 2 imported used cars.
“Government Warehouse Ikeja – Lagos: 151 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice; 1 Dane Gun and 1 Live Cartridge. Seme Command: 897 bags of 50 kg imported foreign parboiled rice; 1,349 (30litres) Jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and 7 cars used as means of conveyances”.
The Coordinator explained that the seizures which are in violation of Schedule 3 and 4 of the Customs and Excise common external tariff on imports prohibition list, were made possible by the use of technology and intelligence gathering.
He disclosed that two suspects are currently being interrogated by operatives in connection with gun running and rice smuggling.
Usman, who assumed office on April 12, stated that he embarked on courtesy visits to the Customs Zonal Coordinator, Commands and various sister agencies within the zone to seek their cooperation, in terms of collaboration, synergy and information sharing.
The visits, he said, contributed to the success recorded by the the team.
Speaking further on the function of the team, he said: “It is an interventionist unit set up with the objectives of helping to maintain national security, territorial integrity, curbing of illegal trade, forestalling the influx of arms and ammunition and generally providing a buffer zone for the conventional security agencies to be able to do their jobs rather more efficiently and smoothly.
“This commendable effort of government has led to massive reduction of smuggling activities, human trafficking and trans borders crimes and criminalities both on land and water and has translated into several seizures of prohibited goods which have since been deposited in various government warehouses in commands within our coverage areas”.
Compt. Usman warned all those involved in any kind of transborder crimes and criminalities to desist and embrace meaningful endeavours.
The Joint Border Patrol Operations is a coalition under the umbrella of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
It is made up of components from the military, paramilitary and intelligence agencies inclusive of the Army, Navy, Customs, Immigration, the Police Force, State Security and the National Intelligence Services which all combined to operate under the lead role of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).