Seme: G-Express Company Motors Caught With Cannabis Sativa And Other Contrabands As Patrol Teams Make Spectacular Seizures

 By Stephen Ubanna

 Until Sunday,  September 1,2019, nobody knew that a big story  await Nigerians from the Seme/Krake Joint Border between Nigeria and Republic of Benin. It is the story about the interception of a Cross-Border Transporter involved Cannabis Sativa, popular, India Hemp, from  the neighbouring West African  country of Ghana, into Nigeria

  Many believe  that the Company may have been doing this over the years and escaped because the Seme  Command Patrol Team  stationed at the Border may not have seen any reason  to stop such Cross-Border buses for routine search as there had not been any adverse report about any of  such Cross-Border  transporters in the past.

 But the continuous seizure of the illicit substance, smuggled into the country with vehicles coming from Ghana,or through the Creeks and the waterside may have forced the smugglers to resort to plan B to carry out their nefarious activities by engaging the service s  Cross-Border transport Companies drivers to carry the illicit substance into the country for them. They have had the believe that Customs personnel at the the Seme/Krake Border would never suspect the bus, let alone asking the driver to park for search. The  Cannabis Sativa  dealers got it wrong.

 The closure of the Borders across the country at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari,  may have emboldened the Command, Border patrol officers to stop every Cross=Border vehicles including buses  for  search  without Compromise.

 Note that country’s Borders with neighboring Benin, Niger, Chad and the Central African country of Cameroon , had been closed about three weeks ago by the Katsina born Nigerian President to checkmate  the activities of smugglers of prohibited items through unapproved routes into the country, particular, foreign par boiled rice.  The closure of the Borders was a bad news for the Cross- Border Transport Companies   as  Adahunse Rashid, a Deputy Comptroller, in-charge of the Seme Command Enforcement Unit was giving a matching Order  to ensure that all vehicles and buses  coming into the country  from Benin or any other country from the West African sub-region were properly examined to avoid Contrabands being smuggled into the country.

 The Value of News learnt that it was during one of  such routine checks of a bus belonging to a notable  transport company plying  between Nigerian and Ghana resulted in the discovery of Cannabis Sativa in the bus.  The Command was said to have intercepted the bus belonging to G-Express Company Motors  with Registration Number  ENU 907450  alleged to be coming from Ghana.

Muhammed Uba Garba: Comptroller, Seme Command

 Muhammed Uba Garba, the Area Comptroller, disclosed that the bus was taken to Baggage for examination.  It was gathered that during examination, the bus was found to have loaded five parcels of Cannabis Sativa  alongside  other Contrabands. The good news was that the driver of the bus,  the  conductor  and the  cargo Handler were promptly arrested and detained.  The illicit drugs and the suspects  were said to have been handed over to the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, officials at the Border Community  in the spirit of inter-agency  Collaboration and synergy. 

The seizure of the five parcels, bring to 20, the number of Cannabis Sativa , parcels  intercepted by the Command  within the last two weeks of August , 2019. The seizure of the illicit drugs may have encouraged the Seme Command Comptroller to reassure the NDLEA officials , of the preparedness of the Service  to ‘’compliment  the efforts of the agency  in its fight  to rid  the country of illicit drugs’’.

Recall that within  two weeks in the month of June, 2019, the Command had seized 1,582 parcels of the illicit drugs  concealed in an indomie truck and another 55 parcels  concealed in a Seinna bus. Given an insider information , the Comptroller, disclosed that  that a total of  1,686  parcels of the illicit substance , worth over N30 million  were intercepted and seized during the period.

The Command Patrol Teams  may not have allowed the Joint Border Security Operation across the Country, tagged Ex-Swift Response, Coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, under the close watch of  Babaga Munguno, a retired Major –General to weigh them down not to do their job as foreign parboiled  rice, vehicles and other prohibited items banned from coming into the country had continued to be seized.

Abubakar, Amajam, an Assistant Comptroller General, who is Coordinating the Operations in the south west geo-political region comprising of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun , Ekiti and Ondo and Abdullahi Kirawa, a Deputy , Comptroller, in-charge of  Operations, may have given a signal that they were in total control of the anti-smuggling  activities at the Borders in the regions as they Commandeered  all the patrol vehicles at the Border station  and most of the Enforcement and other officers t from the Command to join the  adhoc Team.

 It is not surprising why  Customs Comptroller was very appreciative of the spetacular seizures that had been  made  by the officers still carrying on  with anti-smuggling operations in the Command.

A Statement by Abdullahi Saidu, an Assistant  Superintendent of Customs and the Command Image maker listed the items seized within the period to include 875 ‘’50’’ bags of foreign par boiled  rice,  with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of over N15 million,535 Bales of second Hand Clothing, with a DPV, OF about N17.3 million, 269 baskets of tomatoes and other Agricultural products from Republic of Benin including baskets of pineapples valued at about N367.4471.00.

 This is in addition to sacks of used shoes, belt and ladies bags,  textile materials, cartons of poultry products , car paint, galvanized nails,  carton of condensed milk,  Spaghetti Noddles, body cream, television sets, motor spare-parts and gas burner among others.

Investigation shows that undisclosed amount of some foreign currencies were intercepted from money exchangers  who were caught at the Border closure. Without sounding immodest, Muhammed, the Seme Command Comptroller, has made it clear to those that cares to listen that there is no going back on the ‘’strict implementation  of the  government fiscal policies and the extant laws  that govern the day to operations of the Service at the International Border’’.

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