Posted by Adaora Anozie

On January 7, 2016

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service, Zone ‘C’, Owerri has intercepted a Mercedes truck loaded with 1,300 cartons of imported frozen poultry products, valued at N12.4million.
According to the unit, the products confiscated along Benin-Ore expressway were concealed in Polymer Vinyl Chloride (PVC) sheets and ceramic bath tubs.

The Customs Area Controller of the unit, Comptroller Dimka Victor David, also revealed that since December 1, thirty-one (31) seizures have been recorded, including twenty-one (21) vehicles with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N118.1million.Also within the period, the unit explained that twenty-three (23) arrests were recorded,with 22 cases pending in different courts within the Zone ‘C’ axis.
Dimka, according to a statement issued by the unit’s Public Relations Officer, Onuigbo Ifeoma, decried “the incalculable harm being inflicted on the nation’s economy, as a result of unabated smuggling of prohibited products into the country”.
He warned those still engrossed in the act of smuggling to desist forthwith or have themselves to blame, saying: “We will continue to make this Zone very hot and uncomfortable for smugglers to remain in business, and we are not mincing words about this”.

According to him, one suspect was arrested in connection with smuggling of imported frozen poultry products, adding that the suspect is now undergoing interrogation for further prosecution in court.
He stressed that the NCS is trying to ensure that it does not give any chance to smugglers until they are brought to their knees, warning that “a word is enough for the wise”.
According to the statement, the destruction of the seized imported frozen poultry products was “carried out immediately in the premises of Customs House, Benin”, noting that it was witnessed by officials of the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Security, National Agency for Food Drug and Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the press.
Dimka expressed delight at the desirable and cordial synergy between the NCS and other sister agencies, such as the NigeriaPolice, State Security Service (SSS), Nigerian Army, National Drugs Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in the fight against smuggling, and expressed optimism that “this would continue to grow from strength to strength”.

The Area Controller affirmed that the determination of Nigeria Customs Service to reposition itself for greater challenges is unstoppable, particularly as the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.), has repeatedly warned smugglers operating in the country to change business or face the wrath of the law.
The CGC had, during his visit to the Zone, said: “Smuggling is one of the dangerous activities which affect the nation’s economy, so smugglers should change business because it is an illegal business. Many people are of the belief that smuggling is a legal source of livelihood, but it is not; it is an illegal business.’’

Dimka said all suspects arrested in connection with smuggling activities who are on bail are still not free until the determination of their cases in court, noting that those found to have contravened the law would be jailed.