In continuation of its anti smuggling campaign the Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service last week made a seizure of prohibited frozen poultry products worth N5million in the bush paths of Seme border.
This was disclosed in a statement made available to MMS Plus Weekly, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Ernest Olottah.
The seizure ostensibly being brought into the country from the Republic of Benin may have been targeted at the forthcoming Muslim post fasting celebration.
Smugglers in an attempt to beat the various patrol teams of the command, brought the poultry products through bush paths which are unapproved routes but were shocked to see our officers who are keeping vigil at all possible areas of passage.
On sighting our operatives from afar in the bush, the smugglers tried to reverse to the Republic of Benin and not being able to do so, fled into the bush, abandoned their wares and the 3 vehicles being used to convey the banned goods.
The Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Willy Egbudin who supervised the destruction of the seized poultry products described the seizure as a warning signal to desperate smugglers who, during every period of festivities, push their unlawful trade far by daring the resolve of the customs.
He added that the law is no respecter of persons and that its full weight will be brought to bear on those involved in the smuggling act even as the command has commenced investigations aimed at getting them arrested.
‘This seizure is a warning signal to anyone who attempts to dare us during festivities or any other time of the year. Because we are aware of their antics, our men are deployed in the bushes while normal patrol and manned approved check points are sustained.”
”Our Comptroller General’s (CGC) zero tolerance for smuggling is being pursued with renewed vigour and zeal, therefore any attempt to undermine our presence will be dealt with in line with the Customs and Excise Management Act”
”As we destroy and bury these seized frozen poultry products today, we will keep advising everyone to shun illegalities and invest their resources in legitimate trades.”
‘’Laws being enforced by customs is no respecter of persons and we will continue to give our best in carrying out the directives of the CGC to the fullest.There will be no hiding place for smugglers at the border” he said.
The controller also used the opportunity to remind youths of border communities to resist any attempt to be lured into smuggling or any act that can place them on the wrong side of the law.
Meanwhile, investigations have commenced to arrest the owners of the vehicles used for the smuggling activities and the buried poultry products.