The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), in its relentless fight against smuggling activities, has uncovered the desperate antics deployed by smugglers in order to beat its operatives.
The strategy used by smugglers was unraveled by mobile patrol teams along the Lagos-Badagry express way.
In the operation, a smuggled L450 Jeep that was disguised with posters of a deceased person (supposedly going for burial) was intercepted so also was a waste disposal truck.
In a statement, the command said the operation, which was intelligence-driven also examined the vehicle and found 534pieces of used tyres concealed in the truck disguised to be conveying waste for disposal.
Commenting on the seizures, the Customs Area Controller, Mohammed Aliyu disclosed that no antics devised by smugglers will go undetected by the officers and men whose eagle eyes are always beaming on every nook and crannies of the border.
He further restated that implementing the policy of the federal government on ban of new and fairly used vehicles through the land border without compromise is a task that must be done by officers of the command.
He reiterated that as an institution that enforces the federal government policies, the compliance level of the ban on importation of new and fairly used vehicles through the land border that commenced on the 1st of January, 2017 is still in force and will be sustained.
Aliyu warned that no amount of misrepresentation of this policy will deter the command in ensuring that no new or used vehicle comes through the land border except through the sea ports.
He said that the dare-devil smugglers, who will not desist from using Seme route, will continue to count their losses behind bars when arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.
The comptroller also re-emphasized the need to beef up security along the border considering the security threat of illegal importation of arms through the nation’s sea ports. He added that the command’s zero tolerance to the nation’s security threat (via illegal importation of arms) through meticulous screening of imported goods using the scanning machine will be sustained.
The command’s helmsman further noted that the border command is strategising and deploying high level of intelligence and professional competence, fortifying the entire land border in order to foil all attempts of arm smuggling and other trans-border crimes into the country.
The comptroller therefore enjoined stakeholders and community leaders to help the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) through credible information sharing in order to perform her functions effectively.
He cautioned youths to be careful not to allow their quest for money during the festive season jeopardize their future or drag them into illicit activities that will affect their wellbeing negatively.
Commenting on the last quarter of the year, the comptroller charged all patrol officers to be more proactive in enforcing the service’s laws more than ever before.
However, he cautioned officers to be professional in the handling and usage of fire arms while on duty, saying the unprofessional handling or usage of firearms may be detrimental to the life of both the officers and the public.