Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Sokoto Command, has impounded 320 kilogrammes of Indian hemp from illicit drug traders, lamenting the rising activities of the smugglers in the Sokoto axis.

The command, which comprises Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, also seized 555 bags of rice, 34 bags of sugar and 45 bales of second hand clothing with a duty paid value of over N16 million.

The Area Comptroller of the Command, Mr. Gimba Umar disclosed this at a news conference at yesterday, noting that the illicit goods were intercepted along Argungu/Kangiwa axis, border towns of Kamba, Dole Kaina,Illela as well as Sokoto/Gusau axis.

He explained that the command was able to intercept the illicit goods, following intelligence by officers and cooperation of the police.

Umar noted that one of the smugglers attempted to use misguided youths in order to evade customs officers along Kamba border town in Kebbi state.

He said: “As you are, the culprit made attempt to escape when he sighted our officers on the way. In fact, he made a detour 200 metres away from the check point and tried to mobilise youths in Bagudo area to fight our officers.
“However, the police intervened immediately and assisted our men in recovering the 320 kg f cannabis, though no injury was recorded,” the area commander said.

He acknowledged the synergy between the command and other security agencies in the area culminated in the seizure of the illicit goods.

“The synergy with other sister agencies has been very vital in not only providing us with intelligence but also in the seizure of rice and Indian hemp in the zone.”

Umar warned smugglers to steer clear of the zone, noting that the command would deal decisively with anyone found engaged in such acts.

The new comptroller emphasised that he would give priority to revenue generation, anti-smuggling and enlightenment of the public on the fiscal policies of the Federal Government.

Umar reiterated his commitment to sustaining the fight against smuggling and illicit trade deal in along the Sokoto-Kebbi-Zamfara axis.

He, therefore, urged the residents of border communities to continue to provide the command with useful information in order to combat smuggling in the zone.

The customs boss also handed over the 320 kg of Indian hemp to the officials of the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for necessary action.