- 1575 bags of rice, 28,735 litres of petrol, 29,660 parcels of cannabis herald seizures
As part of intensified anti-smuggling activities, the Western Marine Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized goods worth over N2.2billion including; 29,660 parcels of cannabis; 1575 bags of rice; 28735 litres of petrol; among others in four months.
The Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Abubakar Umar revealed this during a press conference in Lagos today, noting that the seizures were between June and October, 2022.
Giving a breakdown of the seizures, Comptroller Umar said the total seized Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana) weighed 16,663kg estimated to be worth N2,061,000,000; meanwhile, the seized 1575 bags of foreign parboiled rice amounts to more than 2 trailer load of rice worth N39,375,000.
28,735 liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) contained in 1,077 kegs of 25liter size was equivalent to one tanker-load of PMS valued at N4,921,700 and other seizures were; 7 wooden boats with 4 engines as means of conveyance worth N13,750,000 and 2 sacks of suspected gun powder.
Speaking on the canabis, Comptroller Umar said; “Importation like this won’t help our country’s development. We all know the harm that Cannabis Sativa poses to our youths. It is illegal to ship such contraband into Nigeria and we will continue to thwart the efforts of unscrupulous importers who derive joy in bringing in such substance into the country.”
The Customs boss, however, observed that arresting suspects connected to amphibian smuggling activities have been very difficult for the Command’s officers as the defaulters usually dive into the waters.
“We don’t usually use our arms when apprehending these suspects or making seizures on the waterways because it’s usually at night and there are always fishermen. Our officers aren’t trigger happy, so they have to be cautious to avoid shooting at ordinary fishermen who still operate on these creeks and waterways at night,” Umar said.
Giving a sound warning to criminals involved in smuggling activities on the waterways, the Customs boss maintained that the Command would further intensify its anti-smuggling efforts as the yuletide season approaches.
He, however, thanked the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali and his management team for supporting the Command with the necessary facilities; highlighting the Command’s new conference room and the anticipated seven newly constructed patrol boats as worthwhile additions.
“We are expecting 7 newly constructed boats. Right now we have nine boats and over 250 trained officers and we expect 50 more officers to join us from the training school later this year. These are obvious provisions that would enable the Command to be more resolute in its activities,” he added.