By Stephen Ubanna
Smugglers have never had it so bad in the
When The Value News visited the GWH, Benin, on Friday, March 29, 2019, the seized exotic vehicles found on ground was very surprising . Among them was A bullet proof, Range Rover, Super Charged, 2013, model, Rose Royce, Mercedes
Unknown to them FOU, Zone C, officers had mounted tight security at the Benin toll gate that it would be difficult for flies to pass unnoticed. It was therefore not very surprising why the vehicles were intercepted and transferred to the GWH in Benin, the Edo state Capital. An elated Customs Comptroller described his officers as very ”diligent, Committed and dogged ” in their anti-smuggling operations.
An angry Customs Comptroller lamented, ” we have people who travel abroad to buy these exotic
Appealing to smugglers to turn a new leaf as there is no hiding place for them in the southeast or any part of the Niger Delta, to carry out their nefarious activities , he maintained that they are equal to the task to scuttle any new strategy or strategies adopted by them to smuggle Contrabands into the country.
Perhaps, to make the smugglers understand about the dangers of smuggling to the economy, the Customs Comptroller was said to have drawn a programme to sensitise the people about the dangers of smuggling in the Command areas of jurisdiction which covers Delta, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and cross River, the six states in the south-south geo-political region, as well as Imo, Enugu, Eboyi, Anambra and Abia, State five states in the south east, to the economy.
One seizure by the Command which may have shocked many that something was wrong with the nation’s ports of Apapa, Tin-can Island, Kirikiri Lighter terminal, KLT, phases 1 and 2, was the interception of a suspected ”40” Container, allegedly declared as carrying spared parts but on examination found to be stocked with used fridges and other Contrabands heading to the east.
Efforts to get the name of the port where the Container was released did not materialise but a source disclosed that the FOU, Zone C, Customs boss , who had written to the Comptroller of the Command linked with the release of the Consignment to get to the root of the matter.
The Command was also said to have seized about 2, 900 ”50” Kg bags of foreign parboiled rice. Giving insider information, Kayode, the Command Customs Comptroller disclosed the rice Contraband were seized at different times in concealed in trucks carrying cement or Laccasera drinks, particular, Dangote trucks. Worried by the activities of these Corporate smugglers. Comptrollers have appealed to Companies using heavy duty trucks to carry their manufactured goods from one location to another to take a closer look on their drivers who are using their trucks for illegal activities to avoid playing into Custom’s hands on the road. Most of the trucks, which had been intercepted by the FOU, Zone patrol teams on the road, were said to have carried between 120 and 200 ”50” Kg bags of foreign rice each.
Recall, that last January alone, the Command , had made 22 seizures of Contrabands with a Duty Paid Value of about N591 million. Six suspects were said to have to arrested in connection with the seized items and are currently being prosecuted in Court by the Command legal Department. He assured genuine importers that they have no reason to worry as the Service has a mandate to ensure trade facilitation to boost the economy.
Note that President Muhammadu Buhari had banned the importation of vehicles and foreign parboiled rice through the land border in 2017, to encourage patronage of
Maritime watchers believe that seizure of the frequent seizure of exotic vehicles and thousands of ’50 Kg bags of rice by the FOU, Zone C, on the road , between Benin Tollgate and O
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