The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said it intercepted 42 drums of calcium carbide smuggled into the country from Benin Republic.
Calcium carbide, according to security experts can be used as explosives especially when some chemical components are added to it.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, the acting Controller of the unit, Compt. Usman Yahaya stated that the unit also seized contraband worth N3.1billion while N242million was raised from Demand Notice issued on under-payments.
He said the unit acting on credible intelligence intercepted the explosives, which were smuggled into the country through the porous borders in Ogun State.
He said: “We intercepted the 42 drums of calcium carbide through intelligence gathering. The contrabands were in a truck and concealed with cassava tubers and flakes. They thought with the concealment, they could evade the eagle eye of our officers.
“The explosives were intercepted at Sango – Ota axis and then, we know the items are coming from Benin Republic through the unapproved routes. Calcium carbide is on the list of contraband because it is dangerous to the nation if it gets into the hands of bad elements.”
Yahaya disclosed that the unit has set up an investigation to know where the explosives are headed but noted that it was obviously meant for a dangerous adventure.
“The calcium cabide weight 106KG in 42 drums with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N105million. I can assure you that the smugglers have no good intention because if they did, they wouldn’t have concealed and smuggled it through the border.”
“Everyone should be worried about smuggling because it begets unemployment, drug addiction, criminality, proliferating light and small arms, substandard goods, and so on. You can imagine what would have happened if 42 drums of Carbide (explosives) had entered wrong hands,” he said.
Speaking further, the CAC said the unit also intercepted 1,488 kegs (equivalent of 33,000 litres) of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) smuggled out of the country to neighboring Benin Republic.
According to him, other seizures include bags of rice, Indian hemp, textiles material, cartons of tramadol, second hand clothes among others.
“Within the period of 9th February, 2021 till date, the Unit recorded seizures of 20,538 bags of foreign parboiled rice; 3,106 cartons of frozen poultry product; 1,488 kegs of PMS at 25 litres each; 1,035 bales of second-hand clothing.
“Others are 77 cartons of tin tomatoes; 2,843.6 kg of Indian Hemp; 877 bundles of printed wax/textile materials; 29 different brands of used vehicles; 2,969 cartons of Eva soap; 42 drums of calcium carbide (explosives); 549 cartons of Tramadol and 12 units of used motorcycles with DPV of N 3.1billion.
“In the area of interventions regarding Demand Notices arising from under-payments, the unit realized N242million during the period under review,” he said.