The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘B’ said it seized various goods with Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth N1 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020.
The Comptroller of the FOU Zone ‘B’, Mustafa Kebbi, said this on Wednesday in Kaduna, while briefing newsmen on the zone’s activities for the period under review.
He said the zone arrested seven smuggling suspects within the period in connection with the various seizures that summed up to 307.
Giving a breakdown of the total seizures in the first quarter he said a total of 4,045 bags of parboiled rice, 1,416 kegs of Vegetable oil, 1,915 cartons of Spaghetti and 920 bales of Textile materials were seized.
Others included 96 units of vehicles, 322 bales of second-hand clothing, 17 units of motorcycle, 240 parcels of marijuana and other sundry goods.
“Seven suspects were arrested in connection with the 307 seizures with Duty paid Value of N788,683,150.00 within the first quarter,” he said.
He disclosed that some of the seizures were made during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, adding that the arrested suspects would be prosecuted on completion of ongoing investigation.
Kebbi further disclosed that the suspects tried to beat the “watertight security” at the border checkpoints by concealing the foreign parboiled bags of rice in trucks carrying bags of maize, beans, watermelons and tiger nuts among others.
The seizures, he said, were made at border towns of Kebbi, Katsina, Kano as well as the hinterlands of Zamfara State.
He appealed to the public to report any suspicious movement of trucks and saboteurs whose smuggling activities were inimical to the nation’s economy.
The Comptroller similarly disclosed that some suspects were arrested and granted administrative bail in connection with some of the seizures, while the investigation was continuing.
According to him, smuggling of goods such as parboiled foreign rice has reduced drastically but notes that his personnel from the intelligent units are also not relenting in taming smugglers’ activities.
Kebbi gave the assurance that the FOU of the zone would not relent in ensuring that activities of smugglers within the zone were brought to a standstill.
He, however, called for collaboration of the public to volunteer useful information that would assist the unit in the discharge of its duties.
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