November 24, 2017

Fire guts Katsina Customs office

Fire guts Katsina Customs office


By Bashir Bello

KATSINA—Some goods and vehicles seized by the Katsina Command of the Nigeria Customs Service were, yesterday, destroyed by an early morning fire that gutted part of the Command’s office in Katsina.

The Command’s Comptroller, Olusemire Kayode, who confirmed the incident during a briefing in the state, said the Command had been under threat and that the fire incident probably could be an act of incendiary and sabotage.

Kayode said: “Unfortunately, this morning we had an incident of fire around 4:30a.m. Officers on duty called to inform me that there was an act of fire in the office.

“Probably, it is an act of incendiary or sabotage. We have been threatened, called names because the people are feeling the effect of what we are doing here. We receive threats through phone calls; they call to harass us, using unknown numbers.

“Of recent, smugglers everywhere have been complaining about our activities because they know there is a paradigm shift.

“In the last three to four weeks, we have made some seizures such as rice, spaghetti, vegetable oil and used tyres. We have arrested seven J5 vehicles loading an average of 100 bags of rice, 15 saloon cars, loading an average of 35 bags of rice, seven Volkswagen and 12 motorcycles conveying second-hand clothing.

“We arrested six suspects but we granted them administrative bails according to the constitution.”

On the threat, Comptroller Kayode said he has visited the Emir of Katsina to seek his intervention to checkmate the menace.

His words: “Two days ago, we went to complain to the Emir and appeal to him to help us talk to his wards about the ills of smuggling activities in the state.

“The business of smuggling is an issue that has been affecting the economy of the country most especially on rice, vegetable oil, spaghetti.

“These items are available in Nigeria, so we do not need to unnecessarily import or smuggle to Nigeria.”