By Eguono Odjegba
THE Ogun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has said it successfully got one Mr Victor Hassan, popularly known as Victor Owode, detained in prison custody over an alleged case of smuggling.
It also said it has secured the conviction of three suspected hoodlums accused of destroying three operational vehicles belonging to the command in 2017.
Area Customs Controller, Compt. Michael Agbara told Vanguard Maritime Report that the Command made a total of 102 seizures of illegal imports in the month of July 2019 with a total duty paid value, DPV, of N137.9 million.
The seizure includes 7,848 bags of rice, 23 units of vehicles, 201 pairs of used tyres amongst other items.
Agbara described the unique size of the revenue and seizures as an expression of the Command’s zero tolerance for any un-custom import/export activities, in addition to the 100percent support of the Federal Government policy on integrated local rice farming and processing by the customs service.
He said: “The seizure of over 7, 848 bags of rice, 50kg each, in the month of July 2019 is indeed a landmark among numerous successes recorded by the Command.
“This is evidently a patriotic duty by the service to fully align with one of the cardinal Federal Government policies targeted at boosting agricultural development with a view to attaining national food self-sufficiency.”
He stated further: “The Federal High Court, Abeokuta, on June 28, 2019, convicted three accused persons for vandalizing official patrol vehicle attached to Team “H” Roving “A” Anti-Smuggling Patrol Team at Ashipa forest on September 22, 2017. The court found the accused persons guilty jointly and severally and sentenced them accordingly.
“While the Customs command is unrelenting in pursuing other cases including the murder of one of its personnel, CA I Hamisu Sani, on January 6, 2019 with the major suspect involved in the case now in custody; this will serve as a deterrent to other unscrupulous members of the society who might harbour the intention of harassing security agents who are discharging their lawful duties.
“Moreover, a notorious smuggler based in Owode has been arrested and charged to a Federal High Court for smuggling of rice and is presently on remand in Ikoyi Prison pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions.”