Federal Operations Unit, zone ‘A’ continued with its gains in the anti-smuggling front disarming traders who engaged in the importation of dangerous explosive materials as well as those who deal on drugs-cannabis sativa.
Apart from 9 trailer loads of rice seized in the month of January, 450 drums of carbide as well as 68 pieces of military wares-camouflage were intercepted.
The trading on carbide and military camouflage are all dangerous trends which criminals can latch on to precipitate violence during the upcoming elections.
Hussein kehinde Ejibunu, the helmsman of the Unit told newsmen today that his men are spreading their dragnet to nip the importation of such unwholesome materials in the bud.
According to him, the smuggling of drugs which has become a recurring decimal was a notorious practice that can endanger the lives of the youths who are easily prone to crime.
‘Considering the spate of insecurity across the country, and the upcoming general elections, it can be postulated that the importation of Indian hemp, and the military camouflage could be used to fuel crimes and electoral violence by unpatriotic elements.
While the former is under prohibition, the latter are under the control and supervision of the office of the National security Adviser, which requires End -user certificates’ he deposed.
He was however quick to state that the carbide is under detention pending when the suspect brings the documents authorising him to deal on it. Other seizures include 314 pieces of used tyres, 11 units of used motorcycles and 13 units of used cars.
Ejibunu stated that most of these goods were intercepted along the border corridors of the South West fir contravening different customs laws. Eleven suspects, he said were arrested in connection with some of the wares, while the Federal High Court has convicted 3 people for smuggling.
Ejibunu pointed out that the total Duty paid value (DPV) of the seized goods is N517,918,790, while the sum of N86,117,398.50 was recovered as revenue into the federation account through the issuance of Demand Notices (DN) on customs duties that were discovered to be unpaid.
He revealed that in continuation of the Unit’s anti smuggling drive and protection of revenue loss, it has restrategised its operations and re-injected new schemes to tackle the economic menace caused by recalcitrant importers and agents.
‘We did not only re-strategise our operations but our officers are urged to be more professional, and have keyed into the Service’s standard of Operations procedure, ( SOP) aimed at facilitating legitimate trade.
‘In doing this, we are assuring all compliant traders and importers that they have nothing to fear. He advised recalcitrant ones to desist because we are better mobilised with high morale to arrest, prosecute and make them lose their wares in forfeiture to the Federal government ‘
He also counselled members of the public to key into the prevailing security concerns by providing useful information that would expose and lead to the arrest of the enemies of the state. At the briefing today, Ejibunu handed over 2,135 wraps (1,163kg) of Indian hemp to the National Drug law enforcement agency.
The NDLEA representative, Mr Moshood Ibrahim Aluko expressed joy at the level of the inter agency co-operation between his agency and the customs Answering reporters questions on why his agency seems to be shirking its responsibility Aluko said they were working and prosecuting offenders, noting that his agency has got 10 convictions since this year.