Customs arrests 63 smugglers, generates N20m in four months despite border closure (PHOTOS)
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Oyo/ Osun Command on Tuesday said it has arrested no fewer than sixty- three (63) persons in connection with the smuggling of some prohibited items into the country.
The Command also said it generated the sum of twenty billion, fifty- one million, eight hundred and five thousand, one hundred and seventy-nine naira only (N20,051,805,179) between January and April this year.
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The command disclosed that it also intercepted three thousand, four hundred and sixty-five bags of rice, 13 kegs of vegetable oil, 44 gallons of vegetable oil, 20 units of used tyres, 310 drums of 100 liters of PMS, 180 kegs of PMS and 180 bales of second-hand clothing materials and other items.
Customs Area Controller (CAC), in charge of Oyo and Osun States, Helen Ngozi made these disclosures while addressing journalists at a press conference to showcase the activities of the command in the last four months at its headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The arrest and interception of the prohibited items are coming several months after the federal government closed all Nigerian borders.
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But, Ngozi while speaking at the press briefing, noted that the sixty- three suspects were arrested at various locations within the command’s area of coverage.
She noted that the men of the command carried out the anti-smuggling activities with utmost professionalism.
She also said that the command was able to seal a petrol station carrying out illegal activities.
She noted that the cumulative duty paid value of all the seizures including means of conveyance from January to April is put at three hundred and twelve million, one hundred and eighty-nine thousand, four hundred and fifty-six naira only (N312,189,456).
Ngozi said, “With smart intelligence gathering, we were able to identify a petrol station carrying out illegal activities within its premises. The petrol station has been sealed and arrested suspects were made to write statements and undertaken to desist from such illicit activities.
“During our anti-smuggling activities of March and April 2020, the command has made seizures of 310 drums of 100 liters each and 180 kegs of 25 litres each of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) at different points of the command. They will be auctioned and the proceeds will be remitted accordingly.
“For this phase of seizures, the total paid value is equivalent to N193,777,829.
“In summary, the cumulative duty paid value from January to April is N312,189,456.
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