Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun State Command has intercepted a truck load of furniture items estimated at over N18 million and over 3,500 cartoons of frozen items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of over N16.8million concealed in a 30footer truck.
While the frozen products were instantly destroyed at the command’s head office in Aboekuta, the truck loaded with furniture was taken to government’s warehouse for further investigation. The command also raked in over N76.6 million, being amount paid as import duty for 731 vehicles in June.
The Customs Area Controller,CAC, in charge of the zone, DC Oteri Richard, who disclosed this, stressed that the items concealed in a long truck could be equivalent to three containers.
Oteri, who conducted newsmen round the seizures mainly furniture of various seizes, explained that the truck came into the zone through Ajegunle area. “We got the information through our intelligent network and immediately positioned our officers to intercept the truck.
The smugglers quickly detached the head of the truck to prevent us from impounding the seizure. They also mobilised the youths in the community against us to derail our operations.
They became very volatile and tried to prevent the arrest, but we dislodged them with the intervention of other security personnel in the state. This is the third time we are impounding a long truck of this nature since February. The regular seizures we recorded this year included textile materials, frozen items, cars, among others”, he said.
He added, “Furniture is under prohibition and smuggling in such materials would endanger local manufacturers through unhealthy competition. We have mapped out new strategies to curtail smuggling in the area, because smugglers keep coming out with new methods of illegal trades to sabotage the effort of government in promoting economic growth and development.
Aside from scanning imported goods coming into the country, we also carry out 100 per cent physical examination to prevent offensive goods from coming into the country through the border point. We are working tirelessly to ensure that Ogun command is not an easy route for smugglers.
There are over 103 cartoons of fish here. Turkey and chicken are under prohibition while fish is not. So, the smuggler deliberately used the fish to cover the frozen items”.
Relatedly, the command has arrested a spy vehicle belonging to one of the banks in the country. “The culprit and his accomplice were arrested in this bank vehicle with bundles of textile materials concealed in the interior.
This is one of the methods used by smugglers to operate, but we are fully ready and well-mobilised to carry out our duty.
However, there were seizures of rice brought into the command while the destruction of the frozen items was being carried out before the officials of the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Among those who witnessed the destruction of the frozen products were representatives of the State Security Service (SSS), who commended the effort of the CAC and officers of the command for their skills in curtailing illegal trades within the region.