The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Zone ‘C’, in Owerri, Imo State, says it made 31 seizures of contraband goods worth N264.7 million between September and middle October this year.
The Area Controller of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Mr Victor Dimka, announced this in Owerri on Tuesday while briefing newsmen.
Dimka said the goods seized by the unit included two 20 ft container with 199 bales of printed wax and 566 bales of other textile materials.
He listed other items confiscated to include 2,811 cartons of vegetable oil, 117 bales of second hand clothing as well as 45 pieces of used tyres.
He said the NCS also impounded 22 vehicles comprising Lexus Jeep, Volkswagen Jet, Nissan Primera and a Toyota Highlander used in importing contraband goods.
Also included in the seizures are 882 bags of imported rice, 147 cartons furniture comprising wardrobes and beds.
Dimka said the goods were seized on the Aba-Eleme Road in Abia State, 9th Mile Corner in Enugu State, Ngor-Okpala in Imo State, Benin in Edo and Port Harcourt axis.
He said that five persons had so far been arrested, while earlier arrests made were still in police custody awaiting prosecution in the court.
Dimka lamented the use of government mass transits buses and vehicles of other notable private organisations by the smugglers to perpetrate the act.
“It is unfortunate that vehicles meant for good purposes are now being used by smugglers to smuggle goods to the zone.
“The war on smuggling is getting fiercer and the momentum will be sustained. There is greater advantage in curbing smuggling than allowing it to strive,’’ he said.
He observed that the trend of smuggling had changed as the smugglers had abandoned the use of big Lorries to small buses to convey their goods.
“We will continue to fight this war. We are equipped for it and will not sleep until we bring smuggling to a barest minimum,’’ he said.
Dimka, who is a deputy controller of customs, called on journalists and the general public to assist in the fight by providing the service with information on activities of smugglers.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.