By Stephen Ubanna
The last three months had
As a prelude at getting at the fraudulent importers and smugglers operating around the Seme jurisdiction , Rashid Adahunse, a Deputy Comptroller and the Command Head of Enforcement had
Only recently, the Command, with the assistance of the CCTV had impounded three trucks laden cargo with killer cargoes at the JBP. The importers were said to have made the Baggage declaration which gave the nod to take delivery of their Consignment. the CCTV, The trucks may have been suspected and subjected to another round of physical Examination based on the CCTV, showing. The CCTV, report report may have been justified as the trucks were found to be carrying offending items unfit for human consumption.
One of the trucks was said to have been laden with expired baby Diapers, which if the agent had succeeded in taking to importer’s warehouse, the expiry date would have been altered and given another label and pushed into the market. The value of the impounded item, according to Valuation Authorities was about N4.1 million.
The second truck was laden with two creates loaded with 336 cartons of expired alcoholic drinks with a foreign language label, suspected to be Italian, valued at about N4.8m. The Alcoholic drinks, which was concealed with CKD engines and tyres may have made the case of the importer worse and therefore, subject to seizure , going by the Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA, Cap 204. At present the Baby Diaper and Alcoholic drinks trucks are detained at the ETLS premises have been converted to outright seizure on the orders of the Area Comptroller for carrying offending imports.
The Renault truck , the third on the list , which was loaded with 2,000 cartons of Biscuit imported from the Asian country of India, famous for the shipment of tramadol, a dangerous Pharmaceutical drug into the country which was detained at the Government Warehouse had also been converted to outright seizure.. According to Valuation experts , the Duty Paid Value, DPV, of the imported Biscuit was about N7.74 m.
Investigation By The Value News shows that the cartons of the killer biscuits which were imported through Cotonou port , Republic of Benin, were intercepted between March 18, 2019 and June 1, 2019 . Maritime watchers fears that if Command Enforcement Unit had not detected the killer Consignments through the CCTV, and it found its way into the Nigerian market , what would happened to the school children who mostly patronise biscuit dealers? . Medical experts fear that they would have been infected with different ailments that may lead to death. This is an indication that Muhammed and his Enforcement team members have saved the country many lives that could have been lost by consuming the expired imports.
The question on the lips of most people was: how did the importers of the consumables : Biscuit and alcoholic drinks scaled through the stringent conditions spelt out by the National Food and Drug Administration, NDLEA, to ship such expired consumables into the country?.
Maritime analysts fear that there might have been a collaboration between the importer s of the offending items and the agency officials or outright negligence of duty which is an indictment on the officials of the Supervisory ministry of Health for not doing their job as it ought to be done but putting their pecuniary interest first above the interest of the nation. The Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, also has an explanation to give to Nigerians over the importation of the Baby Diapers into the country because its oversea inspectors ought to have known that the imports had expired before certifying for shipment into the country.
Perhaps, one seizure made by the Command Enforcement Unit along the Lagos -Badagry road that should touch the heart of Nigerians was the 1,582wraps of Cannabis Sativa, popular, India Hemp, heading to the Lagos market. The bad news was that the drug was procured from Ghana, a
The Indomie Distribution Van, according to Muhammed, the Command Customs Comptroller was impounded based on intelligence gathering . Note that the Customs Comptroller’s participation in the recent ”Cross -Border trade Facilitation and One Stop Joint Border Post, JBP, clearing process of Transit and ETLs goods , organised by the African Union, AU and The Economic Community of West African States in Acrra may have exposed him to the Cannabis trade and to reach out to people who ready to be giving him information whenever the offending item is sent to Nigeria for sales. It was not surprising why the Command has be making seizures of the drug in the recent time.
It was gathered that when information leaked out that bags stocked with the hard drug had entered the country , w the Customs Comptroller , alerted , Adahunse, the Command Deputy Comptroller Enforcement, who in turn mobilised his patrol to effectively block the Lagos – Badagry to ensure that the trader did have his way. He got it right as one Abubakar. D.I., a Chief Superintendent led patrol team t were able track the Corporate distribution van.
Insiders informed The Magazine that for three days, the Enforcement patrol teams laid ambush for the for the suspected Indomie distribution van between -lagos and Seme road but the CSC Abubakar led team eventually intercepted and transferred to the Command premises on May 31, 2019.It was a bad business for the trader who believes he had succeeded in the trip by landing the Cannabis Sativa in the country. Ghana, has been identified as one of the major growing nation of the drugs in the West and Central African sub-region. The Valuation Authority in the Command had put the value of the items which was intercepted and seized on May 31, 2019, at N1.34 million.
The Seme Customs Comptroller may have taken advantage of the press briefing in the Command on Tuesday to expose how desperate Nigerians could go smuggle prohibited items into the country. He cited a vehicle conveying a Corpse along the notorious Owode road which was flagged down by his men for Examination based on intelligence that it was carrying an offending item.
The driver was said to have put up
In the spirit of inter-agency Collaboration, the Seme Customs Comptroller, was said to have handed over the drugs to the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Administration for further investigation.
But the major worry of many is that agency officials at Badagry have not been honest to the Seme Customs Command. The Magazine findings shows that was an instance where the Command had handed over some cartons of siezed tramadol to them instead of NAFDAC which was seen as an oversight. The NAFDAC, officials were said to have protested to the Customs Comptroller to retrieve it and hand it over to the authentic agency.
The Customs Comptroller was said to have apologised , assuring that the mistake would never repeat itself again.. The Command Enforcement Unit were said to have made moves to retrieve it but informed that it had been dispatched to their base at Ibereto.
It was gathered that when the Badagry NDLEA eventually agreed to produce it, one of the cartons of the tramadol drugs worth over N 400,000.00 had allegedly developed wings. The surprising thing about the Command anti-smuggling war was that it had made Seme jurisdiction too hot for foreign parboiled rice and vehicle smugglers that many of them have gone underground. The Command has even procured sealant and engaged casual workers who are operating it. The Value News Correspondent cited the sealants doing their work at the Command warehouse.
As at Tuesday, June 18, 2019, the Command had made a seizure of about 8, 3304 ”50kg” bags of rice, equivalent of 14 trailers load of rice with a DPV and levy of aboutN88.73 million. Earlier the Command had distributed over 25,000 and about 1,500 to Internally displaced people, IDPs, Camps in Yobe state and Some Orphanage homes in the Seme, Owode and Badagry axis at the instance of the Ali, the Comptroller General.
The Command anti-smuggling officers may have made Statement with the
In spite of the appreciable impact made by the Command in the area of anti-smuggling operations, it may not have lost sight of the fact that it also has a responsibility to generate revenue for the government from imports through the land Border. An elated Muhammed disclosed that between March and June 18, 2019, the Command has made a revenue generation of 2. 8 billion, comprising of duties on imports and seizures.
Many considered the