Inde Dikko Abdullahi, Customs Boss
Ernest Chinwo â€¨
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said it seized pirated books and other prohibited goods worth about N218 million in the Port Harcourt axis of its operations within the last three months.
The seizure was made by the Headquarters Anti-smuggling Task Force set up by the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Dikko Abdullahi, to assist the commands in checking the activities of smugglers.
Taking journalists round on inspection of the seized items yesterday, the Head of the Task Force, Deputy Comptroller Hassan Shallangwa, said the items were intercepted by his men at various points within the Port Harcourt axis.
He said the task force also arrested five suspects who are currently assisting the service in its investigations, adding that they would be duly prosecuted at the appropriate time.
He listed the items to include pirated books, furniture, musical cases and boxes, hand bags, plastic plates, rubber slippers, spare parts, fruit juice and a trailer load of imported used tyres.
He disclosed that after undergoing the normal judicial process, the service would hand over the pirated books to the Nigerian Copyrights Commission.
“This is our (Customs) own contribution to the protection of intellectual property in the country,” he said.
According to Shallangwa, the CGC “in response to public complaints and seeming insecurity, reinvigorated this team (task force) through retraining, retooling and enhanced welfare with a specific directive to compliment the commands and effectively block all loose ends that those who do not wish this country well might wish to use to smuggle prohibited and other dangerous items into the country.”
He said the customs had also arrested seven suspects and seized goods worth about N200 million in Benin axis in the last three months.
He called on the public to also assist the service to check smuggling and warned that the task force was bent on delivering on its mandate.
“Let me use this opportunity to warn those who may wish to test our resolve that the game is over. Smuggling is no longer profitable: stop it or lose money and face possible jail term,” he advised.