The Customs area controller (CAC) of the Oyo/Osun command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Compt. Abdullahi Argungu, said smugglers now use camels, horses, cows to smuggle rice into the country. Argungu, who stated this over the weekend when he showcased some seizures at the command in Ibadan, said about 10 suspects were apprehended by the command.
“No country can solve smuggling completely but there is one thing I want you to understand from this thing, I want you to know that gone are the days when people smuggle with trailers. “Those are the time of impunity where people do as they like but now, they conceal and use transport vehicles but not only these vehicles because if you go to the north, they use motorcycles, foot paths, donkeys, camels,” he said. He however called for enlightenment of border communities against smuggling in the country. Argungu, while speaking further, stated that the command in the last eleven months generated the sum of N21, 954,286,380.90.
He said, “Subsequent upon my resumption, I embarked on a familiarization tour of the command to sensitize O/C outstation patrol leaders and the entire officers on the need to re-strategize and re-invigorate our operations by utilizing modern anti-smuggling techniques in accordance with international best practice in order to achieve the laudable goals of the anti-smuggling campaign of the Nigeria Customs Service. “This has resulted in modest achievement as attested to by the under-listed seizures made by the area command between October 2018 till date.
“Eight used vehicles with duty paid value put at N20,180,876.39k ; 3,010 (50kg) bags of rice with duty paid value put at N50, 556,678.25k, 600 units of 25 litres kegs of vegetable oil with duty paid value put at N13,537,125.00k, Canabis sativa (Indian hemp) with duty paid value put at 6, 999,776.59; 25 bales of second hand clothing with duty paid value put at N6,443,671.50k and 33 means of conveyance with duty paid value put at N16,125,291.97k.”
Argungu said, “The law that prohibits the importation of rice and used vehicles through nation’s border is not new, so those who claim ignorance of the ban have no excuse. “Furthermore, due to the recent huge seizure of illicit drugs at the sea ports, it becomes necessary for us to intensify our efforts against illicit drug trafficking through the nation borders with a view to checkmating the influx of illicit drugs through our territorial boundaries”.