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Customs impounds foreign fishing trawler for smuggling

The Nigeria Customs Service, Eastern Marine Command, said on Wednesday that it had seized a foreign fishing trawler in Oron allegedly used in smuggling of contrabands into the country.

The Comptroller of the command, Alhaji Abdulkarim Hussain, told newsmen in Calabar that the trawler marked K-081I51200 Felistar was conveying 300 cartons of frozen chicken and 1,600 cartons of baron wine.

Hussain said that the smugglers came from Equatorial Guinea and passed through the Calabar channel before it was intercepted on the high sea at Oron waterways in Akwa Ibom.

He said that the fishing trawler had been cannibalised to suit smuggling purposes. Besides, he said that other seized goods worth N4.03 million by the command had been destroyed at the Oron Local Government Council premises.

Hussain said the seized goods included apple, chemicals, second-hand clothing, hides and skin, rice, baron wine and used fridges, among others. He said two weeks ago, two large boats loaded with 3,200 bags of rice were seized, noting that the smugglers jump into the water and escaped.

The comptroller added that his command patrolled the waterways on daily basis to ensure that illegal goods do not come into the country.

He lauded officers and men of the command for their ability to reduce smuggling activities, adding that no fewer than 22 suspects were held for smuggling between January 2009 and May 2010


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