Customs impounds N137m contraband

Illustrative picture. PHOTO CREDIT: Punch

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Headquarters Strike Force Team on Wednesday said it impounded smuggled foreign parboiled rice and second-hand clothing worth N137 million in Cross River and Akwa Ibom States in the past one month.

National Coordinator of the Team, Abdullahi Kirawa, who made the disclosure to journalists while inspecting the items at the Government Warehouse in Calabar, said a total of 5,662 50kg bags of rice were seized, of which 2,153 was handed over to them by the Nigerian Navy.

Kirawa, a deputy comptroller, said this showed the level of cooperation and synergy that exists between the Customs and other sister security agencies.

He said, “It is of note that these seizures would not have been possible without the motivation of the team by the headquarters, particularly the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), who has given us all that we need to ensure that not only is smuggling reduced to the barest minimum but that we ensure that the menace of these people is not perpetuated in this area.

“I use this medium to call on members of the public to help us with valuable and credible information so that we make more of these arrests.

“These seizures were just in the period of one month. You know this is the yuletide period and a lot of smuggling activities would be on the increase but then because of the doggedness and the determination of the officers to excel and ensure that we perform our duties to the best of our abilities, we would ensure they are arrested and the perpetrators are brought to book.”

Kirawa was conducted round by the leader of the Strike Force Team in Zone C, which consists of Calabar, South-South and South-East, Assistant Comptroller Kolade Kayode.