The Oyo/Osun Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has arrested 63 suspected smugglers in connection with the smuggling of the prohibited items into the country.
The service also generated total revenue of over N20 billion into the coffers of the federal government within four months.
Speaking with journalists at the Command’s headquarters, the Area Controller, Uche Ngozi, said apart from ensuring that government fiscal policy was enforced and local production encouraged, the Command had seized over 35,000 litres of petroleum, and a total of 3,465 bags of rice between March and April 2020.
”We are proud to inform the public that through these difficult months of dealing with the COVID -19 pandemic, we have worked tirelessly as a service to ensure that our borders are secured and smuggling activities are reduced to the nearest minimum.
”We combed the bushes day and night to ensure that government fiscal policy is enforced,” she said.
She said within the same period, the command made a seizure of 180 bales of second hand clothing from a train operated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation with duty paid value of over N13million.
While stating that no fewer than sixty- three (63) persons were arrested in connection with the smuggling of the prohibited items into the country, the controller noted that the total duty paid value for all the seizures is N97million.
She said that the arrest and interception of the prohibited items is coming several weeks after the federal government closed Nigerian borders.
Explaining that men of the command carried out the anti-smuggling activities with utmost professionalism, the Area Controller said that in summary, the cumulative duty paid value from January to April 2020 is over N312 million.
”Within the period under review, we have made 72 seizures and detentions. We have carried out enforcement and anti-smuggling activities with utmost professionalism, caution and intelligence gathering. We urge the public to cooperate with the Nigeria Customs Service in the implementation of government fiscal policies to help improve the economic and social welfare of the nation,” she stated.
She also said that the command was able to seal a petrol station carrying out illegal activities.
Ngozi said, “With smart intelligence gathering, we were able to identify a petrol filing station carrying out illegal activities within its premises. The petrol station has been sealed and arrested suspects were made to write statement and undertaking to desist from such illicit activities.“