The Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) in a series of coordinated efforts in Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos states have intercepted 299 cartons of codeine drugs; 4,252 bags of foreign parboiled rice (50 kg each); and 5,600 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, among others.
The Federal Operations Unit, FOU Zone A, Lagos, the Acting Controller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi noted that the service had intensified efforts to clamp down on smugglers that compromised the country’s revenue and sabotage her food security.
Adeniyi who lamented the menace and dangers of misuse and illicit distribution of codeine stated: “We are pleased to announce significant strides made by the Nigeria Customs Service in combating the illicit trade of drugs within our nation’s borders.
“Last week, officers of the Federal Operating Unit Zone A, acting on credible intelligence, flagged down a DAF truck close to Ijebu-Ode Junction. An examination of the truck revealed the concealment of 299 cartons of codeine syrup along the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.”
Expressing sadness over smugglers of rice and PMS known as fuel, the Customs boss noted that smugglers of rice and premium motor spirit continued to test the service will to put them out of business.
“Smuggling of rice compromise our revenue and sabotage our food security. Despite the biting effects of fuel subsidy removal on our economy, smugglers still attempt to smuggle PMS across the border. They met their waterloo in different operations conducted by officers of NCS.
“The following seizures of both items were recorded. A total of 4, 252 bags of foreign parboiled rice (50 kg each) at Dangote/Imashayi Ogun State, Saki Axis Oyo State, Owode/Ado Odo in Ogun state, Idiroko/Ohumbe Ogun State, Okoko Mile 2 Axis in Lagos State and Ado-Ekiti in Ekiti State. Similarly, 5,600 litres of Premium Motor Spirit were intercepted and seized when smugglers attempted to take out these strategic resources through the Oja-odan axis in Ogun State.
“Other items seized in the last 2 weeks include 291 Bales of Second-hand Clothing 57 Sacks and 4 Jumbo Sacks of Used Shoes; 486 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products; 190 Pieces of Rugs; 5 Units of Vehicles; and 170 pieces of used tyres.
“Again, the 340 pieces of used tyres seized within the first two weeks of August 2023 by this unit is not only limited to the implementation of import prohibition lists but also a giant stride to mitigate auto crashes caused by smuggled used tyres.
“These tyres are squeezed, compressed, and tucked into themselves for ease of concealment, thereby causing them to crack. They are oftentimes expired, their rigidity and strength compromised. Drivers could experience a blowout or sudden rupture as the steel wire meant to keep the tyres in shape has been disorganised in the course of smuggling”, Adeniyi stated.
Vowing that smugglers of illicit products would continue to end in futility, the Acting Controller-General of Customs reiterated: “We once again advise that any investment made into the smuggling business is meant to be a loss because we will keep battling these enemies of our country. I urge all patriotic Nigerians to continuously support the Nigeria Customs Service with helpful information that will aid our efforts to curb smuggling and arrest suspects.”