The Sokoto/ Kebbi/ Zamfara Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday burnt 1,050 cartons of contraband frozen fish worth about N 9.23 million, its Controller, Mr Ahmed Isyaku, has disclosed.
Isyaku, who addressed newsmen during the destruction of the seized items, said that the contraband were intercepted on on Wednesday last week at the Nigeria/Benin Republic border at Kamba, Kebbi State.
According to Isyaku, the contraband was being transported from Tema in Ghana to Lagos in Nigeria.
“The seized fish was supposed to have gone from Ghana to Benin-Seme border then to Lagos.
“But we were surprised it came from Ghana to Benin to Kamba in Kebbi state, hence violated the actual route of import,” he said.
Isyaku said that the whole transaction became too suspicious.
He said that the importer was not licensed, while all such items must be off-loaded at the entry point into Nigeria for proper inspection.
“This was not done in this direction as any consignment coming into Nigeria in a container like this has to be off-loaded for inspection by Customs officials.
“The importer of these seized items has not therefore conformed with the guidelines of importation of frozen fish.
“This particular specie of fish, Flipper Espado, is not allowed to be imported into Nigeria,” he added.
The Customs area controller said that the importer contravened the provisions of Circular Number 033/2014.
“This deals with the guidelines on the importation of frozen fish, stock fish and stock fish heads.
“The importation has completely breached the Federal Government’s policy on fish importation and therefore liable to destruction in accordance with the Nigeria Customs Service regulations,” Isyaku, said.
On the challenges posed by the Ebola virus disease, the Customs official said that the command was doing everything humanly possible not to leave anything to chances.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.