The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) seized contraband goods with total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N2.2billion between January and December 2021.
This is 100percent above the N1.04 billion recorded same period in 2020.
This is even as the command acting Customs Area Controller (CAC) Deputy Comptroller Enonche Ochiba said officers and men of the command intercepted on 8th December seized 865 x 25litres kegs totaling (21,625 litres) of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) locally known as petrol valued at N3.3billion.
Ochiba said the products which were being smuggled outside the country were intercepted following credible intelligence at Ashipa Beach along Seme coastal border area.
He lamented that in spite of the government’s effort in subsidising PMS for the benefits of its citizenry, smugglers had continued to sabotage the government’s effort for their selfish gains and to the detriment of Nigerians.
The Customs Marine boss warned that the yuletide period and beyond would be tough for smugglers as operatives of the command are equipped to fight smuggling along the waterways.
His words, “To those smugglers and would-be smugglers, we are aware of your plan this yuletide season, I want you to know that our operatives are vigilant and on patrol duties to take the scourge of smuggling activities and other vices on the South Western waterways and will leave no stone un-turned until you are apprehended and prosecuted.”
He listed other contraband items intercepted within the period to include heroin, cannabis sativa, rice, expired drugs, used shoes and others.
According to him, a total of seven suspects were arrested in connection with the seized drugs, adding the suspects were handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for possible prosecution.
Ochiba attributed the successes recorded by the command to strategies put in place to counter smuggling since he assumed office in July this year.
He called on the public to provide operatives of the Service with genuine information that would aid the fight against smuggling.
“These records are a strong indication that the operatives of the command are working tirelessly to combat smuggling on the waterways.
“The record of seizure for the year 2021 is the total of seizures from 2017 to 2020 for the command,” he said.
While commending the cooperation and efforts of other security agencies and patriotic Nigerians for their contributions in providing relevant information to fight against smuggling, he vowed that his operatives will continue to put smugglers on the run.
He also thanked the Comptroller General of Customs and his management team for the motivation and support given to the command in the discharge of its statutory duties.
“The operatives will continue to discharge the duty vested on them and will not rest on their oars in the fight against smuggling and drug trafficking.”