Customs says smugglers becoming more deadly

Comptroller Mustafa Sarkin Kebbi
Comptroller Mustafa Sarkin Kebbi

As Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘B’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) made 623 seizures, including 153 vehicles and other items, Comptroller in charge of the unit has said that smugglers have become more sophisticated and deadly.

Comptroller FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna, Mustafa Sarkin-Kebbi, who addressed newsmen in Kaduna on the activities of unit from January to June 2019, said the seized items worth were worth N1.05bn.

He said 14 suspects were apprehended in connection with the seizures. 

Speaking on the operations of the service, Sarkin-Kebbi said his men face serious resistant in the field, saying that smugglers have become deadlier and sophisticated.

“The smugglers of nowadays, I have to confess to you are deadly. They are more sophisticated and deadly. We lost an officer in Katsina and also in the strike force too and Kano command during this period.

“The smugglers are becoming more notorious and also the informant too they have a lot of money and they pay money to get information about Customs’ movement.

“Customs activity now is government driven and we have our own way of dealing with them. There are challenges and we are also equal to the tasks and we are not relenting in our efforts. Our anti-smuggling architecture is more functional for detecting and apprehending these criminals. That is why we are making more seizures.

“We have successfully prosecuted two suspects, about four are presently in court while investigation is ongoing on the rest of the suspects after which they will be charged to court,” he said.

Other smuggled items seized by the unit include 8,618 bags of parboiled rice, 820 cartons of spaghetti, 167 bags of sugar, 147 bales of second hand clothes, 1,035 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 33 pieces of used tyres and 1,550 packs of tramadol.

Comptroller Sarkin-Kebbi disclosed that the smuggled items were seized in various states under the zone.

He said 312 seizures worth N504.1 million were seized in 2018.