Customs seizes truckload of rotten ‘ponmo’ at Seme

Customs seizes truckload of rotten ‘ponmo’ at Seme
Illustrative picture. PHOTO CREDIT: Punch

The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service said it intercepted one white Scannia truck carrying rotten hide and skin popularly known as ‘ponmo’, 146 parcel of cannabis concealed in one red Toyota Highlander vehicle and 5,204 bags of 50kg foreign rice, which is equivalent to nine trailers smuggled into the country.

Addressing newsmen at Seme border on Monday, Controller of the command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, said the command also generated the sum of N4.4 billion between January and July 21, representing 65 per cent of the total allotted revenue target of the Command.

Comptroller Uba who put the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized rice at over N70 million and N1.682 million for the 146 parcel of cannabis, said a suspect has been arrested in connection with one of the seizures.

According to him, other seizures made include textiles worth N419.4 million; 13 bags of sugar with DPV of N301,965; 1,078 cartons of poultry products worth N15.7 million; cartons of spaghetti with DPV of N212,924, 97; cartons of  soap worth N619,820, 59; cartons of insecticides with DPV of N761,365.

He added that nine trucks are currently placed on detention due to short payment, adding that a total of five vehicles have also been seized with DPV of N7,549,132 while the total DPV for the whole seizures within the three weeks under review is N112.5 million.

While stating that the intensified operation of the enforcement unit of the Command has drastically reduced smuggling activities to the barest minimum, Comptroller Uba warned those who still engage in illegal activities and other cross-border vices to avoid Seme border or risk arrest and possible prosecution. 

He therefore, urged all Unit heads to ensure adequate supervision of their subordinates in order to facilitate legitimate trade across the frontier while equally keeping a healthy relationship with the critical stakeholders. 

He said, “This will ensure that our core mandate as directed is achieved. The holistic approach in executing the mandate of the service, will lead to an all-encompassing result as revenue generation, suppression of smuggling and legitimate trade facilitation will be adequately enhanced at the Lagos –Abidjan corridor without compromising national security.

The Customs boss assured members of both local and business communities that the command will increase dialogue, enlightenment and robust stakeholder engagements for seamless operations through the modern Joint Border Post designed to promote regional integration, reduce clearing times at the border, increase government revenue, improve the free movement of persons and goods, eliminate corruption and loss of revenue at the borders.