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Customs FOU Kaduna Lands 71 Seizures, Contraband Police Uniform

BY FUNMI ALUKO

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit Zone B Kaduna between November 28 and December 31, 2023 recorded a total of seventy one (71) seizures, including thirty-seven (37) bales and four (4) rolls of the Nigeria Police camouflage uniforms.

The bales of contraband uniform

The Unit Controller, Comptroller Dalha Wada Chedi who disclosed this in a release said four (4) suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seizures, even as he put the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seizures at of four hundred and six million, nine hundred and twenty-four thousand, ninety-one naira, thirty-four kobo (₦406,924,091.34) only.

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Compt. Chedi surrounded by the PRO Isa and principal officers of the unit while showcasing some of the seized vehicles

A release made available to our reporter by the Unit Public Relations Officer, CS Sulaiman Isa, quoted Chedi as saying the impressive scorecard is in fulfillment of “our pledge that the Unit will ensure full compliance with the FGN directives on closure of all land borders with Niger Republic.”

The statement reads in part, “Remarkably among these 71 seized items was the arrest made on the 15th December, 2023 at about 1400hrs, the operatives of the Unit arrested a container truck based on credible intelligence along the Lokoja-Abuja expressway suspected to be conveying prohibited items.

Signing of the uniform handover notes

“After a 100% physical examination, Thirty-Seven Bales and Four (4) Rolls of Nigeria Police Camouflage Uniforms alongside other different items were discovered in the truck.”

The unit controller who further disclosed that Four (4) suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure explained what the likely grave implication of the illegal uniform could have caused to society if undetected and had landed into the wrong hands.

“Considering the nature of the items and its possibility of being utilized for nefarious activities by unscrupulous elements, the seized police camouflage uniforms, the 4 suspects together with the means of conveyance were all handed over to the State Director, Department of State Security (DSS) Kaduna State Command on Wednesday 27 December 2023 for further investigation and possible prosecution in the spirit of inter-agency collaboration and having obtained necessary approval from the Comptroller-General of Customs.”

He listed the other items seized to include 8 used vehicles as well as 2 others used as means of conveyance , 195x 50kg  bags of foreign parboiled rice, 877x 25litres Jerry-cans of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), 240 bales of  Foreign Second Hand  Clothing, 10 x 25litres Jerry-cans of Foreign  Refined Vegetable  Oil, 415 Cartons of Foreign Spaghetti, 349 Cartons of  Foreign New Shoes (Unisex), Macaroni and Couscous, 500mg of 3,400 Sachets of  Foreign  Amoxicillin  and 35  cartons of foreign flame lighters.

Speaking on the seized rice and other consumable items, the FOU Kaduna boss explained that the items “would have made their ways into the markets and consumed by the people, despite the hazards, some of such imported grains pose to health.”

He further explained that “in line with the extant laws and guidelines as directed by the Customs Headquarters, the PMS that were seized have been auctioned and the proceeds remitted to the coffers of the Federal Government.

“Beyond this, suffice it to say that despite the value of the 17 seizures made within the period as stated above, we are proud to say that the Unit has seized hard drugs and other assorted goods at various intervals in the Year 2023 worth about Four Billion Naira (N4 billion) in Duty Paid Value (DPV) from 1st January to 31st December, 2023.

“This represents 100% increase in seizures made above total DPV of #2,345,155,577.38 that was seized in the year 2022. It is also an indication that the operatives of the Unit have up-the-ante in the fight against smuggling in the Zone.”

While noting that the seizures were made in different parts of the zone as a result of the constant patrol of its operatives, Chedi informed that most of the seized items were consequently deposited at the various Customs formation across the zone as enshrined in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) .

“It also serves as one of the counter measures of securing seizures in case of attacks by smugglers as they (smugglers) are now engaging bandits to attack our operatives while conveying seizures to a long distance.”

He also disclosed that the increased performances of the unit operatives attracted a letter of commendation from the Customs Headquarters.

“This development, I must say has contributed to the boosting of the morale of Officers and Men of the Unit. At this juncture, let me on behalf of all the Officers and Men of the Unit reiterate my commitment at enforcing the Federal Government Fiscal policies in accordance with Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as our operatives are battle-ready to carry out our mandate effectively.

“I also need to assure the citizenry through you that operatives of the Unit in this New Year are poised like never before, to foil all attempts by smugglers at importing any prohibited goods into its area of jurisdiction as well as recover all underpaid duties into the government’s coffers.”

 

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