Law and Crime

Customs Technology Now Detects Fake Diplomatic Numbers Used by Car Smugglers – Comptroller Bomodi


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Comptroller Timi Bomodi, Customs Area Controller, Seme Border

The era of using consular number plates and other similar means to smuggle vehicles through the Seme Border area is gone as the Nigeria Customs Service has automated the process of registering vehicles used for consular services across the border between Nigeria and Benin Republic.

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Customs Area Controller of Seme Border Command, Comptroller Timi Bomodi, who said this during an interview with JournalNG, said with a recently deployed technology that has consular vehicles registered in the customs database at the border, such smuggling activity has become a thing of the past.


The Controller said the command has also simplified vehicle registration processes for Nigerians and Benin citizens who regularly drive across the border with a view to easing their movements while monitoring that such vehicles travel back to the country where they traveled from

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“We are easing movement for vehicles of people that regularly travel across the borders.We have Nigerians that are residents in Benin Republic or Beninoise resident in Nigeria but they always have business to do in either of the countries.


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“Most of them come in their vehicles and the procedure for moving vehicles across the borders requires some kind of bond to ensure that the vehicles return and people don’t use that as a channel for smuggling vehicles.


“What we tried to do is that we have automated that process and we have asked Consular offices to provide us with the comprehensive list of all the vehicles that they have because sometimes, smugglers use consular number plates to smuggle.


“Once they give us that information and we put it in our data base, anytime anybody just come in any vehicle with any kind of number on it, we already have the details and so it will be very difficult for them to beat our system.We are making it a lot easier for legitimate business people to move across the borders and at the same time making it very difficult for people that want to compromise the system not to do so” the Area Controller said

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While urging legitimate traders to confidently do their businesses, Bomodi said the NCS has made Seme Border more business friendly and conducive for import and export.


The area controller added that traders exporting small quantities of agricultural produce and items classified under ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, are now made to undergo baggage assessment with proper records taken.


He added that a lot of law abiding people who approach the border with trepidation because multiple checks shouldn’t fear as the processes have been simplified


On the agreement jointly signed the leadership of Benin Republic customs administration and the Comptroller General of NCS in Abuja, Bomodi said the NCS is waiting for the strategic level of both the Nigeria and Benin Republic Government to move into the actualization of the agreement. He said the implementation would be in the area of policy for both sides especially resolving the issue of paying duty on goods in transit moving through Benin republic into Nigeria

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According to him, once that is finalized, people should expect to see progress in what happens at the corridor.



Ismail Aniemu

Ismail Aniemu, Publisher of JournalNG and ghost writer, is a maritime journalist of over two decades' of practice with multidisciplinary background. He holds a masters degree in Transport Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology(LAUTECH) with bias for logistics. He is also an alumnus of the Times Journalism Institute where he obtained a post graduate diploma in Journalism. Email:

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