…Warns against entry of unauthorised persons into port
By Udeme Clement
The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Tincan Island Command has stepped up patrol in the port following the seizure of 1,100 ammunition imported into the country through Turkey. The Command also warned against unauthorised entry into the port.
The Public Relations Officer of the Command, Uche Ejesieme, disclosed this in a chat with Sunday Vanguard, explaining that the mind-boggling seizure of 1,100 arms is a clear signal that the Command is alert 24 hours to prevent influx of ammunition and other prohibited items capable of threatening the economic environment from coming into the country.
According to him, “The Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Tincan, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf has positioned officers on strategic position in the port to be vigilant in monitoring and taking thorough details on activities going on at every corner of the port. We are in the ember months. This period of the year is when economic saboteurs engage more in illicit trade but we are adequately equipped for the task.
CGC Hameed Ali has provided us with necessary work tools and the training to carry out our statutory duties effectively. Also, the CAC of Tincan is a knowledgeable officer with years of experience in anti-smuggling operations, revenue generation and other core functions of Customs. This has shown in our records under his supervision. For instance, aside from seizing arms and other offensive items, the Command is becoming more thorough in revenue drive, such that all high yielding revenue consignments are closely monitored to avoid circumvention of procedure in any form.”
On a visit to the Command, Sunday Vanguard gathered that the smuggler of the deadly cargo concealed the items in a 20ft container number GESU2555208 in a bid to escape security checks. Even the Bill of Lading, which is a document that gives clear description of items imported into a country was misleading.
While the seal on the container from the country of origin that ought to be broken only when it was ready for examination in the presence of Customs and the importer had already been removed, the Bill of Lading falsely indicated the content of the container to be wash hand basins and water closets. But the intelligence driven approach used by officers led to the seizure. Some senior officers of the Command who spoke during the visit said the CAC is also working assiduously in training officers in his Command to be efficient in discharging their duties.