It was a shocking revelation, as the joint patrol team of Western Marine Command, WMC, of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, cracked down on unrelenting smugglers in the waterways around Ilufe Ojo-Alaba and Tungeji Ijofin creek along Nigeria/Benin Republic axis, intercepting 80 big bales of textile materials, 58 small bales and 10 sacks of bags in a night operation. This is coming only few weeks after the same Command intercepted jerrycans of smuggled petroleum products and foreign rice from the creeks.
Vanguard during a visit to WMC gathered that the Command also seized eight sacks of children foot wears (rubber sandals) 477 cartons of frozen products, 400 bags of foreign rice smuggled into the country through the creeks.
Speaking, the Customs Area Controller, CAC, Comptroller Sarkin-Kebbi revealed that the officers carried out the operations at, about 2.30am not deterred by the covers of darkness. From this level of seizures, it is obvious that influx of foreign fabrics is killing Nigerian textile industry and we must not allow this to continue, to the detriment of our economy. N7.3million is the Duty Paid Value, DPV, of the textile materials and bags. The frozen chicken has a DPV of N2.86million (approximately N2.9million), the foreign rice has a DPV of N4.9million and the footwear has a DPV of N240,000.00, making a cumulative total of N15.37million ( approximately N15.4million). I thank CGC Hameed Ali and his management team for their support, which boosted the moral of officers at WMC”, he said.
Accordingly, the frozen items were destroyed in the presence of State Security Service (SSS), National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Police.
The CAC added, “I am calling on all stakeholders and the public to assist us with useful information that will lead to the taming of these the dare devil smugglers. I warn smugglers and criminals on our waterways to desist or be ready to face the law, as our Command will give zero tolerance to their nefarious activities at all times”.