Smuggled cartons of frozen turkeys worth millions of naira were buried by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Wednesday.
The burial of the contraband goods was supervised by officials of the Directorate of State Services, the Nigerian Police Force, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).
The Public Relations Officer, Kwara Out-Station, under Niger-Kwara-Kogi Area Command of the Nigerian Customs Service, George Onumah, said the cartons of frozen turkeys were discovered in a Golf car.
He stated that custom officers from the Federal Operations Unit, Kaduna Zonal Office, intercepted the car and two occupants along the Alapa-Ibeti-Shaki Road, a border area between Kwara and Oyo states.
He added that the customs officers demanded the turkeys’ customs documents from the driver.
Onumah said, “The driver and the occupants of the car claimed they have paid customs duties and that they have the documents in their house in Ilorin. They pleaded that they should be allowed to go and get it.
“Officers-in-arms were positioned to guard the vehicle pending when the defendants will come back. But when they stayed the whole day, our officers now had to open the vehicle to pinch the contents of the cartons found therein. They discovered that they were cartons of frozen turkeys.
“That is just the monotonous item inside the vehicle. So they brought the car alongside the content inside the customs house in Ilorin.”
He warned all intending smugglers to desist from such illegal act, saying smuggling was negatively impacting on the nation’s economy.
According to him, it is not encouraging local industries and was increasing unemployment in the country.
He also said imported frozen turkey might pose health hazards to the consumers, adding that chemical used to preserve them might be injurious for consumption.
The Kwara State Coordinator of NESREA, Martins Enenwaene, said the burial of the cartons of frozen turkeys was better than burning them. He advised people against burning materials, saying it was impacting negatively on the environment and posed health hazards to the community, the environment and the atmosphere.
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