By Eguono Odjegba
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Western Marine Command, WMC, has applauded the support extended to it by the Nigeria Navy in stemming the tide of smuggling along the nation’s territorial waters.
Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Botiliya Binga, speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report in his office, said the Navy Forward Operating Base, Badagry, Lagos state, last week intercepted 170 cartons of contraband foreign poultry products which it handed over to the customs marine command.
The command operatives also made a similar seizure of the same poultry products totalling 123 cartons within the Lagos waterways.
Binga, who was represented by Chief Superintendent of Customs, Saheed Arisekola, put the total Duty Paid Value of the seized poultry products at N3.5 million.
While lauding the synergy between the Navy and Customs, Binga disclosed that the command has taken delivery of a number of outboard engines purchased by the management of the customs to power some of its watercraft, thereby increasing its fleet, and increasing the command’s capacity for an offensive against smugglers within its operational territory.
His words, “The Customs Service is enjoying great synergy with the Nigeria Navy, and this cooperation has remained uninterrupted. On 12th June the Forwarding Operating Base Badagry arrested 170 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products. Based on the harmonized mode of operation (arrest and prosecution), they handed them over to us.
“We are not relenting, and our operatives also apprehended a quantity of 123 same frozen poultry products. In April, we seized 608 cartons of the same product and in May, we handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, about one ton of Cannabis Sativa we arrested.
“Western Marine Command is greatly improved and very shortly, we will take the place by storm. The Comptroller General of Customs has purchased a number of outboard boat engines for us. It is not a plan in the making, the engines have been purchased and in our custody. All that is left is to fix them and once that is done, smugglers will hear from us”, he said.