Anti-smuggling Operations: No Breather For Smugglers Operating In Ogun State

By Stephen Ubanna

Those who thinks that  Compt .James Ojo, Area Controller, Ogun I, Command, will not make any appreciable impact in Ogun, described as a home of state of Contraband smugglers because of the overwhelming influence of Federal Operations Unit, FOU, which has the population to block all the porous routes in the state would be disappointed.

Ogun I, Command , sacks and parcels of Cannabis satva eizure

With’’ the support of the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, and other security agencies personnel in the state, which a source had said supplies the information processed by he Customs Intelligence Unit, CIU, personnel, as well as’’ the unwavering support, valuable insights and collaborative efforts  of  the traditional rulers’’  Compt. Ojo and his enforcement officer appears to have left no one in doubt that they are determined to frustrate the activities of the smugglers operating  in the south western state.

 The Value News on line Magazine had sighted an intercepted a tarpaulin covered truck load of goods at the Ogun II, Command, premises, Abeokuta, the state capital, awaiting to be physically examined to ascertain its true contents.

Ogun I, Command, intercepted truck load of Consignment awaiting to be examined at Ogun II, Command, Premises, Abeokuta

The agent of the importer of the truck loaded goods and some of his staff were aid to have found their way to the Ogun II, Command, premises on Monday, July 9,   2024, amidst tight security, to participate in the physical examination of the truck. It could not be ascertained the location of Ogun state where the truck laden cargo was intercepted and taken to Ogun II, premises for safety.

The interception of the truck load of goods by the Ogun I, patrol team officers and taken to Ogun II, premises appears to have sent jittery down the spines of the fraudulent importers with their agents and  the smugglers operating  in the state  the era of cutting corners is gone.   

There is no gain saying the fact that despite the blockage of the various anti-smuggling routes in the south western state to make things very difficult for the Ogun I, Command, operatives, Compt. Ojo, in the last two months had demonstrated that he could always beat the smugglers to it in their own game. 

Although , some of the border Communities have not been supportive to the officers in carrying out their official duties  but that has not stopped the Command from making the unexpected Contraband seizures ranging from foreign par boiled rice, poultry products, pneumatic tyres, Cannabis Sativa, popular, Indian hemp,  Premium Motor Spirit, PMS,  Petrol to live ammunition.

An insider who spoke to the Magazine online on condition of anonymity, disclosed that Compt. Ojo, ‘’anti-smuggling operations achievement is shocking’’ Indeed, the Command in its recent operations had demonstrated that it has all that it takes to deliver on its mandate.

Contraband bags of par boiled rice, 50Kg, eah, impounded by Ogun I, Command

 An elated Compt. Ojo, who could not his feelings had said that the Command had intercepted and seized 7, 015bags of foreign par boiled rice, 50 Kg each, equivalent of about 15 trucks load of rice, with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N298 million, 64 bales and 222 sacks of used clothes, which Valuation experts had put at about N1,523,770.00  and 2,227 used pneumatic tyres filled with compressed air, valued at about N9,673,544.00.  According to the Ogun I, Area Controller, these foreign used tyres are not good for Nigerian highways because a significan good t number of them have’’ exceeded their recommended lifespan  from their manufacturing dates’’.

He noted that ’good quality pneumatic tyres are safe for only four years from the date of manufacturing’’, meaning that anything beyond this duration ‘’poses a significant risk to motorists and puts their life in jeopardy’’.

The Customs Comptroller major worry was that ‘’the Tokubo tyres, in local parlance, which are used in these foreign countries and shipped into  the Nigerian market and other third world countries are death traps.  

Gallons of PMS, 25 litres each intercepted by Ogun I, Command

Other Contraband  seizures of the Ogun I, Command, in the recent time , include  the West African country of Ghana, grown of 219 sacks popular, Indian Hemp and 1725 parcels, of Cannabis sativa, worth about N254,401,539.00, 115 pairs of used shoes  with a DPV, of N70,666,237.00  and 44,466 litres, of Petrol, which is more than a truck load which value was said to have been put at about N2,130,405.00.

The Ogun I, Area Controller, who was said to have taken a closer look at the interception and seizure of foreign foreign poultry products had revealed the health implications of consuming such products, noting that the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the Food and Agricultural Organisation, an agency of the United Nations, UN, had said that consuming such products ‘’preserved with chemicals   can be severe and multifaceted’’.

He had cited some potential health risks associated with consuming such products which include ‘’Chemical contamination, Food-borne illnesses, Antibiotic resistance, Nutritional deficiencies, Allergic reactions, and Public health risks among others. 

The OgunI, Command, according to the action-packed Customs Comptroller was said to have also given an insight o the intercepted and seized 940 rounds of live ammunition, which was said to have been made almost within the same period that 844 pump Action rifles and 112,500 live ammunition valued at about N.2 billion was intercepted at Onne port, Rivers state.

The Ogun I, Command,   Area Controller. had said the seizure of the Contraband items in the last two months was a clear indication of’’ the effectiveness  of the Command  intelligence –driven approach and robust strategies put in place’’ which analysts had said aligns with Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR,  Comptroller General of Customs’  emphasis on’’innovation and collaboration and consolidation’’.

In dealing decisively with the smugglers operating between Nigeria and the neigbouring Benin Republic  using the Ogun state axis, the Ogun I, Customs boss,  had given his words that  the Command will continue ‘’to employ  advanced techniques and technologies  to stay ahead of  smugglers and economic saboteurs’’.

He had that stated clearly that  the recent interceptions of the  contraband items by the Command  ‘’underscore the importance  of continuous vigilance , collaboration  and the need  for a united front  in the fight against  smuggling  and other economic crimes across the former President  Olusegun Obasanjo home state.

T In spite of the fact that he Command Patrol team officers may not have arrested any suspect in connection with the contraband seizures that are deposited in the Command premises, Idiroko and Ogun II, premises, Abeokuta, Compt. Ojo ha said that it is not unexpected.

Hear him: We cannot pursue the smugglers into the bush and abandon the contraband goods left on the road on sighting officers coming after them as it could easily  be carted away by their agents who are all over the border communities’’. 

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