By Oladele Igbagboyemi:
The Ogun Command, Nigeria Customs Service, says it intercepted 29, 905 bags of smuggled foreign rice and 197 smuggled vehicles popularly known as ‘tokunbo’ between January and June 2019.
It said the seizures were made at the Idiroko border and the adjoining communities.
The Controller of the Ogun State Area Command, Mr. Michael Agbara, disclosed this on Tuesday at its Idiroko border office while briefing journalists about the activities of the command.
While talking about the seizure of the foreign bags of rice, he said this was the first time the command would make the highest number of such monthly seizure since he took over the mantle of leadership in the command.
In the area of anti-smuggling during the period under review, Agbara said the Command made 549 seizures comprising of 197 units of vehicles, 29, 905 (50 kg each) and 15 (25 kg each) of bags of foreign rice, 1, 466 kegs of vegetable oil (25liters each), 17 units of motorcycles, 9, 407 new and 1,042 pairs used , 3 jumbo, 69 sacks and 1 small sack of foot wears.
“427 cartons of Frozen poultry products, 25 bales, 29 sacks of secondhand clothing, 12 sacks of Ankara rapper, 4 sacks of yards materials and 5 wraps of lining materials, 51 Pcs of used handbags, 583 Pcs of used tyres, 1,181 kegs of PMS (Petrol) of 25 litres each, 3 bags of sugar (50 kg each), 143 book size, 21 coconut size and 11 sacks of Cannabis Sativa, 897 pcs of used tyres, 18 sacks of water proof, 1 sack of snuff powder, 110 sacks of soap chemicals, 3 sacks of Alligator pepper, 40 x 142, 60 x 200 & 40 x 41 android cartons of Itel Phone, and 1 set of Television”
“The seizure of over 29, 905 bags of rice in the first half year of 2019 is indeed a landmark among numerous successes recorded as compared to 15, 976 bags of rice seized during the corresponding period of the year 2018.
“The aforementioned was achieved due to strategic enforcement measures put in place in line with the Federal Government Policy targeted at boosting Agricultural Development within the country.
“Also, within the period of 1st to 30th June, 2019, the Command generated total revenue of N1, 196, 146, 835.60. While in the area of anti-smuggling the command made a total of 83 seizures with the DPV of N310, 555, 588.00. The items seized include: 30 units of vehicles, 7,095 bags of foreign rice (50 kg each), 258 kegs of vegetable oil (25liters each), 10 units of motorcycles, 7, 572 pairs of new, used and rubber foot wears, 3 bales of secondhand clothing, 28 Pcs of used handbags, 392 cartons of frozen poultry products, 200 kegs of PMS (Petrol) of 25 litres each, 3 sacks of Cannabis Sativa, 40 x 142, 60 x 200 & 40 x 41 android cartons of Itel Phone, and 1 set of Television.
“However, the above activities were entangled with series of clashes between Officers of the Command and some daredevil smugglers/accomplices leading to loss of lives and properties. The Command will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitize and educate the public on social, security, health and economic implication of smuggling, while on the other hand, the statutory functions of enforcing compliance with strict adherence to the law will be rigorously sustained.
“Finally, I wish to commend the sister agencies, opinion leaders, head of traditional institutions, eminent personalities, fourth realm of the estate (the Media) and other law abiding members of the public on the esteem cooperation and support we are receiving in properly implementing Federal Government Policies”, he said.