By Francis Sardauna
The Katsina Area Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NIS) has intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N79,757,100 from smugglers between February 8 to date.
The Comptroller of the Area Command, Mr. Adewale Musa Aremu, who disclosed this while briefing journalists at the command Monday, said Customs is ever ready to carry out its statutory functions assigned to it by the federal government.
Aremu noted that the command intercepted one DAF tanker with registration number KWL427TH, loaded with smuggled rice and seized a DAF trailer conveying 367 bales of second hand clothes, and one used Honda Accord vehicle in the period under review.
Other seizures, according to him, included 470 bags of foreign rice, 166 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 321 cartons of spaghetti, 97 cartons of couscous, 187 bags of sugar, 110 cartons of macaroni, 65 cartons of milky creamer and 14 cartons of clinical plaster.
He, however, lamented that border communities in the state, which ought to assist law enforcement agencies in carrying out their legitimate obligations, were rather aiding the nefarious activities of the economic saboteurs.
He said: “The border communities which are supposed to be helping the law enforcement agencies in carrying out their legitimate duties are not doing well enough. In fact, they are making our operations at border towns very difficult.
“The Batsari which you all know is a dead place to go, my officers have to go out against all odds and about 200 bags of rice were intercepted there. Customs is ever ready to carry out its statutory functions given to them by the federal government.”
He explained that it was the responsibility of the Service to ensure full implementation of the federal government’s policy banning the importation of contraband through land borders.
He added that the Nigerian Customs Service had disbanded the usage of “camp boys” to help its officers in discharging their duties at checkpoints, saying any officer caught doing so will face the wrath of the law.