By Stephen Ubanna
Importers with their agents plying the Seme route with Concealed goods are in for trouble This is because Muhammed Uba Garba, the Area , Controller, and Adahunse Rashid, a Deputy Comptroller in-charge of the Command Enforcement Unit, including the patrol team leaders have gone back to the drawing board to review their anti-smuggling operations strategies.
Note that Sere is only one route either from Seme/Krake Joint Border or the Owode outation to take delivery of cleared truck ladden or smuggled goods to the Lagos market. There are fears that Seme Patrol team officers may have relaxed in their anti-smuggling operations which had rubbed off on the Comptroller General of Customs, CGC, Strike Force and the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, resident officers and its newly established anti-smuggling team along the Owode road and at the Gbaji checkpoint .
Many may think that the anti-smuggling fire in Seme Customs Comptroller when he was FOU, Zone A, may have been extinguished as he is no longer making spectacular seizures , he was known for at the FOU, Zone A, within the one year , he was there.
Unknown to many, the Customs Comptroller , has his plan B, to deal with the suspected smugglers in the area including the importers with the agents who Conceal prohibited goods into their trucks. They may have known that the Customs Comptroller was out for them with closure of the Atlas park at Republic of Benin side of the Border and the provision of a temporary park on the Nigeria side for the agents to be keeping their trucks after joint examination comprising both the Nigerian and Beninois Customs personnel and other security agencies personnel at the land Border.
The Seme Customs Comptroller may have finally sanitised the activities of the agents who are used to doing dirty jobs at the land Border station that he move moved his anti-smuggling war chest to Owode out station. His efforts appear to have paid out.
The Value News learnt when information leaked out to him based on his renewed intelligence gathering machinery that a truck cloaded with Indomie but have wraps of canabis Stiva, popular, India hemp, Concealed in it was heading to the country. The Customs Comptroller was said to have kept it close to his chest . He was said to have discussed the matter with Adanhunse, who is in-charge of the Command Enforcement to mobilise his patrol teams for action. The Customs Deputy Comptroller did not hesitate in do so.
The fallout was that the Command patrol teams took over the Owode-Gbaji rout without letting the cat out of the back to avoid exposing its exclusive operation to other teams. True to its intelligence gathering, the alleged suspected Mitsubishi canter branded in Indomie insignia were said to have been arrested by one of the Command patrol team led by one Hamisu , a Superintendent of Customs , around the notorious Mowo-Elija axis. The trucks may not have been seized along the Owode-Gbaji road as the driver may have entered the found his way to the Mowo- Elija axis. Given the determination of the Seme Customs , to get the suspected truck, he did not hesitate in deploying the Command patrol teams to all the nooks and crannies of the Seme- Badagry axis.
It was gathered that the cartons of Indomie loaded into the truck were brought out to ensure the information given to the Command about the Concealed drugs was right. True to the information giving to the Seme Customs Comptroller, 1,582 wraps of canabis Sativa, popular India hemp, valued at about N40 million was said to have been found in the truck last May. The drugs were said to have been promptly seized and a suspect allegedly arrested in connection with the Concealed items.
With the seizure of the hundreds of wrap of the Sativa Canabis, drug, Muhammed , the Seme Customs Comptroller , has made a bold Statement that it is no longer going to be business as usual for those who indulge in illegal trade activities or involve in other trans-border crimes.
The Value News finding show sthat Ghana, in the last couple of years remain the major source of illegal supply of the Canabis Sativa drug consumed in the country. This is evident by the seizure of the seizure of the item in the last couple of months , by various Customs Commands, particular, FOU Zone A ,and the Seme Command, which had been traced to Ghana.
This is why Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, may have to take up the matter with his Ghanaian counterpart to mobilise his officers to closely monitor the items loaded into vehicles heading to the Nigerian market. Maritime watchers believe that if the Ghanaaian, Togolese and Beninois Customs personnel along the major roads linking these countries are doing their work as it ought to be done, it would be difficult for these wraps of Canabis Sativa to enter into Nigerian to be intercepted by FOU, Zone A, personnel or the land Border stations patrol teams.
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