The Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo/Osun Area Command, has disclosed that it has intercepted over 3,000 bags of foreign parboiled rice with a revenue of over N4 billion in the month of January.
Reacting to the latest seizures, which include gallons of vegetable oil, bales of second hand clothing, used tyres and assorted tokunbo vehicles amongst others, the Command vowed to arrest and prosecute smugglers who sabotage their efforts toward anti-smuggling.
As a key agent for sustaining the nation’s economy, the NSC said it would continue to improve on the enforcement of government policies in the fight against smuggling of prohibited items in order to curtail the menace of insecurity in the land.
The Comptroller, Oyo/Osun Area Command of NCS, Adamu Abdulkadri, while addressing journalists on Thursday in Ibadan said, “For those of you on the side of the smugglers revealing our movements and actions thereby making our job difficult, we would track, arrest and prosecute you in accordance with Section 77 of the Custom and Excise Management Act for signaling to smugglers.”
He said the Command would further sharpen its intelligence and enforcement capabilities to fight smuggling by enforcing compliance to extant laws guiding the rules of engagement, adding, “We have enhanced anti-smuggling strategies by taking the battle to the doorstep of the smugglers by launching ‘Operation Fish Out” while invoking Section 147 and 151 of the CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004 with the power to search premises for uncustomary goods and power to give reward to informants who gives genuine intelligence to help in improving the capabilities of the command anti-smuggling duties.”
Speaking on their efforts, he said that the Command, between 19th of November 2020 and 31st of January 2021, made series of seizures, including 220 kegs of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as petrol; 20kg of cannabis sativa packed in a 20kg bag; and 3,052 bags of foreign parboiled rice.
Other seizures included eight kegs of 25 litres of vegetable oil; 60 bales of second-hand clothing; 246 pieces of used tyres; eight Toyota Camry, one used Toyota highlander, and 10 motorcycles used as a means of conveyance for smuggling of rice among others.
Abdulkadri acknowledged the contributions of other sister security agencies in making their work a success.
While saluting the gallant and uncompromising efforts of the officers and men of the Command, he noted that “Though the month of January is typically a slow month, the Command was able to rake into the coffers of the Federal Government about N4billion in revenue due to the expertise, meticulousness and sense of observation of the excise officers.
“The Command has further enhanced its anti-smuggling strategies by taking the battle to the door steps of the smugglers rather than waiting for them through ‘Operation Fish Out.’
“We are invoking sections 147 and 151 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004 with the power to search the premises for uncustomed goods and power to give rewards to informants who give genuine intelligence to help improve the capabilities of the command on anti-smuggling duties.
“We shall further sharpen our intelligence and enforcement capabilities to fight smuggling and enforce compliance with reference to extant laws guiding our procedures and rules of engagement.
“We shall deploy all our strength and available logistics to ensure success in the battle against those who would like to dare the capability of officers of Oyo/Osun Area Command. Oyo and Osun states will be made unbearable for economic saboteurs.”