The Seme Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service said it intercepted 28,180 bags of smuggled foreign rice, equivalent to 47 trailers and other contrabands worth N1.5 billion between January and November this year.
Controller of the command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, who disclosed this in a press statement issued by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Hussaini Abdullahi, on Monday, said the command also collected revenue of N4.9 billion within the review period, representing 76 percent of its annual revenue target of N6.5 billion into the federation account.
Giving a breakdown of the seizures, he said they include: 62 unit of used vehicles and means of conveyance, 1100 bales of used clothing, 185 sacks of shoes, bags, belt, slippers, textile materials and 5,489 cartons of frozen poultry products.
Others are 2,109 25 litres of premium motor spirit (PMS), vegetable oil, 1992 parcels of narcotics and other general merchandise.
Uba, attributed the feat to the strategic policy measures put in place to tackle the menace of smuggling, irregular migrations and other trans-border crimes.
Speaking on inter-agency collaboration and synergy, the Comptroller noted that the parcels of hard drugs and narcotics have been handed over to NDLEA while 47 suspects have been arrested in connection with different kinds of crime committed, and were all handed over to all sisters agency saddled with the responsibility of investigating and subsequent prosecution.
“From the feedback received, some suspects were released on administrative bails, while other cases are still undergoing various stages of trial in courts. It may delight you to note that, four of the 47 suspects arrested have been convicted having pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against them by the Federal High Ikoyi in Lagos State. They are now serving various prison terms, namely; one Ibrahim Musa (m)years Abubakar Sabo (m)years Godwin Edet (m)24years and Maxwell Zosu (m)26years for unlawful possession of 5.7kgs, 5.1kgs, 4kgs and 2kgs of Cannabis Sativa respectively,” he said.
The Customs controller advised economic saboteurs to desist from smuggling and take advantage of the various Federal Government programs on agriculture to make legitimate earnings.