Onne Customs Impounds 9 Containers, Pistol, 2 Suspects
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
The Port Harcourt Customs Area 2 Command Onne impounded a total of nine (9) containers for allegedly contravening extant probation laws, in addition to the interception of a lone pistol with lice cartridges said to have been concealed in an imported vehicle.
Briefing news men in Onne earlier today, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Baba Imam revealed that two suspects arrested in connection with the pistols and kept in its custody are believed to have been handed over to the State Police Command for further investigation and possible prosecution, disclosed that the command impounded a total of nine containers between January and October 2023; owing to various violations of the extant laws.
Comptroller Imam further disclosed that the command generated a total of ₦246,025,872,903.80 between January and October 2023, which is ₦44,145,889,008.65 over and above the amount generated within the corresponding period of 2022.
The impressive performance also saw the command raking in over N38 Billion for the month of October 2023 alone, thus exceeding its monthly revenue target of N28 Billion with over N10 Billion.
A statement by the Command Public Relations Officer, SC Benjamin Loba said, “It is pertinent to state here that the Command realized the sum of over 38 Billion Naira for the month of October alone, exceeding its monthly revenue target of 28 Billion Naira with an increment of over 10 Billion Naira.”
On the impounded pistol, the statement said, “Part of our event today is for you to witness the handover of a pistol, 100 pieces of 9mm ammunition and two suspects in our custody in connection to the pistol and ammunition to the Nigerian Police.
“On the 26th of October 2023, in the course of examination of an imported container from United State which was declared to contain household effects and One used vehicle, was found to contain One pistol and 100 rounds of ammunition. The operatives of the Customs Intelligence Unit attached to the group of examination officers was instrumental to the discovery of the Pistol and 100 rounds of live ammunition concealed within the vehicle.
“Consequently, two suspects have been arrested in connection to this importation. The pistol, ammunition as well as the two suspects shall all be handed over to the Nigerian police force shortly after this press briefing, as criminal cases relating to our collaborative functions with other Government agencies are handed over to the appropriate authorities for further investigation and prosecution”, he said.
Still speaking on seizures of offensive items, Imam said, “In our commitment and resolve at bringing down the incidences of smuggling to the barest minimum within this Area Command, we have on display today a total of 9 seized containers for violations or contraventions of extant import prohibition laws. These containers are currently in the warehouse.”
The Onne Customs boss listed the seizures to include 724 bales of used clothing; 1805 pieces of used tyres ; 4 Vehicles used in concealment of 76.9kg special cannabis (marijuana); 2070 cartons of Tomato paste; 1578 cartons of Barcadin Cough syrup with codeine (100ml) and many other items; with a total Duty Paid Value ₦1,162,424,371.00.
While appreciating sister agencies for their cooperation and support, Imam reiterated the command’s zero tolerance for all acts of infractions and the sanctions that must follow.
“We will continue to partner with other Security Agencies to make this Area Command and indeed the country at large a safe place to dwell in. Let me at this junction be emphatic that we do not just take delight in impounding containers or making seizures of contraband goods, rather we do this to enforce the laws of the nation and to serve as deterrent to others.
“The Command and indeed the Customs of today has zero tolerance to smuggling and has no cause not to perform as every encouragement, logistics and other incentives have been given by our amiable Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, DSM, FNIPR, PSC (+) and that has boosted the morale of all officers to be more determined than ever to fight smuggling.
“Let me equally use this medium and urge members of the public to co-operate and support Government agencies whose role is bringing about social justice, stability and peace in the Society.”
He maintain that while the Command has achieved progressive successes, he pledge to sustain the traction and to continue to do more throughout the remaining months and weeks of the year.