Customs Intercepts Gun, Opium, Military Wears, Marijuana
BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone B, in keeping with its mandate of policing and blocking all forms of smuggling within its territory made a haul of seizures of assortments of questionable items, running into hundreds of millions of naira in value first quarter of 2023.
In a statement, the Unit Controller, Comptroller Musa Jalo disclosed that some of the high profile seizures include military wears, opium, cannabis sativa (marijuana), rice, petroleum products, clothing, vehicles and vegetable oil; some of which were recorded between March and April, while others covers between January and March 2023.
The statement made available to our reporter by the Unit Public relations Officer, SC l Sulaiman noted that seized items outside the primary task of the customs service have also been handed over to the relevant agencies of government.
According to Jalo, his officers and men “made a total of One Hundred and Eighty Eight (188) seizures of Seventeen (17) different prohibited items with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of Six Hundred and Twenty-Eight Million, Two Hundred and Eighty-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty Naira and Sixty-Two Kobo (N628, 286, 660.62K)” during the period under review.
While giving a breakdown of the seizures which he said was made at different locations within the zone, he said his operatives intercepted One (1) Used Mitsubishi Canter with Registration Number AKR 10 XG conveying Sacks of Cannabis Sativa otherwise known as Marijuana concealed with Bags of Cassava flakes (Garri) and Sawdust along Bungudu-Tsafe Road in Zamfara State on 6th April 2023.
After physical examination, the vehicle was found to contain 46 sacks of Marijuana, with a street value of Two Million, Sixty Nine Thousand, One Hundred and Forty-Four Naira and Forty Kobo (N2, 069,144.40K, he further disclosed.
Jalo said the Marijuana together with its means of conveyance would be handed over to Kaduna State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further action, he added that operatives of the unit also on 23rd March 2023 intercepted a suspicious white illegal narcotic substance together with Two (2) and One (1) locally made pistol in the course of our anti-smuggling operations at Maigatari axis of Jigawa State; while a lone male suspect found with the item was arrested .
He further explained that while the suspected illegal substance together with the male suspects was brought to the office, NDLEA officials who were invited to screen the substance to determine its true nature, indentified it as opium, with a total weight of Four Hundred and Forty-Two grams (422g), and a street value of Thirty-One Million, Eighteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Sixty-Eight Naira and Ninety Eight Kobo (N31, 018,568.98K) only.
“The 422 grams of Opium Substance together with the suspects and 1 locally made pistol were handed over to the NDLEA Kaduna State Command on 30th March 2023 for further investigation”, he said.
The anti-smuggling czar said “in a related development, on 25th April 2023 at about 1130hrs, our operatives while on stop and search operations also arrested One (1) Used Volkswagen Golf driven by a Nigerien citizen along Jibia-Katsina Road. During the operation, the patrol officers observed and identified a sack in the vehicle that was later opened, and assorted Military camouflaged shirts, trousers, and T-shirts were found.”
He disclosed that whereas the Nigerien Citizen was arrested on his way to deliver the Twenty-Two (22) pairs of Foreign Tactical Military Camouflage Shirts and Trousers and another Twenty-Five (25) pieces of Military Camouflage T-Shirts to an unknown person in Katsina; both the suspect and illegal uniforms have been handed over to the Directorate of Security Services (DSS).
Other items intercepted by the unit includes 140 Jerry cans (25 litres each) of Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) with DPV of Two Million, Seven Hundred and Forty-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Thirty-Nine Naira (N2, 746,639.00) and 1, 147 Jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit (25 litres each) worth Two Million One Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty-Seven Naira Ninety-Five Naira, (N2, 167,657.95; which he explained been auctioned and the proceeds remitted to the coffers of the Federal Government in line with the extant laws and guidelines; and as directed by the Customs Headquarters.
Other seized a items are Thirty-Seven (37) Units of Used Vehicles, Five (5) Units of Vehicles (Means of Conveyance); 2,109 bags of Foreign Parboiled rice (50kg each) and 69 bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice (25 KG each); 8 Jerrycans of Foreign Refined Vegetable Oil (25 Litres each); 1,241 cartons of Foreign Spaghetti and Macaroni; 39 bales of Foreign Secondhand Clothing ; 30 sacks of Foreign Second Hand Shoes; 14 cartons of Foreign Fruit Juice; 21 Cartons of Foreign Pomade; 80 pieces of Foreign Car Batteries and 1 carton of Foreign Milk.