By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Worried by the high level of hardship in the country which had pushed many Nigerians into criminal activities by falsely claiming association with the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, under the Leadership of Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians may have encouraged bdullahi Maiwada, a Chief Superintendent of Customs and service spokesperson at the instance of the Customs Comptroller General to issue a Scammer alert to guard against such frauds.
The fraudsters, who were said to be impersonating the top ranking sCustoms officers on the Social Media Platform and, falsely claiming to have strong links in Customs circles were said to have defrauded desperate Nigerians with the intention of helping them secure auction papers for vehicles, overtime cargoes and recruitment in the service.
The escalating fraudulent activities may have reached feverish height as it has filtered out to the ears of the no nonsense Adeniyi, the Customs Comptroller General, who could no longer take it or allow the image of the service under his Leadership to be dragged to the mud. It was not surprising why he has taken the bull by the horn to fight the cankerworm before it gets out of control by alerting the public of the fraud.
The Customs Comptroller General was said to have made Nigerians to understand that ‘’recent developments have brought to their attention to the surge in the activities of the fraudsters who deceitfully impersonate high ranking officials of the service operating through the Social Media Platforms and preying on unsuspecting individuals to carry out their fraudulent activities which had brought pains to many.
CSC Maiwada, who may have spoken the mind of the Customs Comptroller General had said that these Criminal elements take advantage of the public trust on the new Leadership of the service in promoting fictitious auctions and sham recruitment drives believed to have been purportedly endorsed by the Management.
The Customs spokesperson was said to have made Nigerians to know that ‘’all seized /overtime cargoes have laid down’’ standard operating procedure, SOP, for disposal in line with the Nigeria Customs Service Act , 2023. In spite of the fact that these seized overtime cargoes are made to be in the custody of Customs, but the NCS Management, CSC Maiwada, had said are only authorised ‘’to conduct its auctions or embark on recruitment of new personnel into the service with the requisite legal backing in line with the service processes and procedures.
He may have told those that cares to listen that the service does not conduct its auction sales of overtime cargoes via the social media platforms, describing such ‘’claims as fraudulent’’ and should be promptly reported to the relevant security agencies for necessary action.
Appealing to Nigerians who are desirous to get accurate and updated details about the service and its operations to verify such information exclusively through the official CSC website, www.customs.gov.ng, he noted that it is the only through the customs website that the public could get the authentic information. Nigerians were asked to reach out to service help desk mobile line at +23447037891156. He had said that the service official social media handles should serve as the only reliable sources of information for Nigerians to avoid falling into the hands of the fraudsters who are everywhere looking for victims. ‘’These information channels, Maiwada, the Customs spokesperson had said are committed ‘’to providing accurate and authenticated updates on a daily basis about the service and its operations’’.
He did not stop there. He had advised Nigerians to also visit any Customs formation nation nationwide to meet with the Command Image makers to verify any financial commitments related to seized Contraband goods, disposal of overtime cargoes or recruitment exercise in the service to avoid being fleeced by these criminals.
Speaking authoritatively, CSC, Maiwada, had declared that the Service commitment remains unwavering in protecting the public from these fraudulent activities of the criminal elements. The Customs National Public Relations Officer would want the public ‘’ to exercise vigilance and prudence whenever approached with offers that are suspicious regarding Customs auctions of overtime cargoes or recruitment and endeavour to report such matter to the nearest Customs Command for immediate assistance.
Informed sources told The Value News that the Customs Comptroller General has given a matching order to the Command Area Controllers to deal decisively with any person caught in the act as a deterrence to others who may want to engage in such acts in the future.