The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operations Unit (F.O.U.) Zone D, Bauchi, has seized contraband worth N156. 61 million in 2018.
The Controller F.O.U. Zone D, Peters Olugboyega, made the disclosure at a news conference in Bauchi on Thursday.
According to him, this is an increase of N55 million compared to the seizures made in 2017.
He noted that from January to December 2018, the Unit made seizures ranging from smuggled foreign rice, foreign soap and second-hand clothes.
According to him, other seizures are spaghetti and hard drugs.
Mr Olugboyega, a comptroller, said the seizures were made in spite of low economic activities caused by insurgency.
He said a recent seizure of a used Mercedes Benz truck with Reg. No. ABJ 250 XA was made on November 21 by officers of the Unit based on credible information.
He said the suspected Benz truck, carrying contraband, was involved in an accident near a military check point on Kano-Bauchi Road.
Mr Olugboyega said the operatives liaised with the military personnel to evacuate the goods and towed the accident vehicle to the Customs House in Bauchi.
“Upon physical examination, it was discovered to contain 179 bags of 50kg foreign rice with total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N6. 62 million, classified under Chapter 1006 of Common External Tariff (CET), concealed in grain’s jumbo sacks,’’ he said.
Mr Olugboyega said on December 3, the Unit also made another seizure of one used Citroen (J5) bus with registration number KMC 855 XB.
He added that the Citroen (J5) bus was conveying 100 bags of foreign rice classified under 1006 of CET with the total DPV of N2, 520, 000
“Again the unit on Nov. 30, made another seizure of 130 bags of foreign rice classified under 1006 of CET that were re-bagged in Nigerian Lake Rice sacks with total DPV of N1, 872, 000.
“The total DPV for the three seizures is N12, 819, 600,” he said.
The Customs boss said the action of the operatives was in line with the provisions of Section 8 (Officers to have powers of Police Officers) and also Section 158 (power to patrol freely) of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap. C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as amended.
“In view of the above indices, it shows that the officers and men of the Unit are in high spirit in blocking and suppressing smuggling activities in the zone,” the controller said.
He said the feat attained was as a result of the support of the management headed by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Retired Col. Hameed Ali.
Mr Olugboyega, however, warned that the service would not fold its arms and watch unscrupulous elements continue to smuggle prohibited goods into the country.
“Let me use this opportunity to warn the smugglers and would-be smugglers to desist from their nefarious activities.
“I want to reiterate our firm commitment in making the zone unbearable for them and we will also be sure that they face the full wrath of the law.
“I want the smugglers to know that whatever their antics, we will always be ahead of them, because we have 101 strategies of dealing with them.
“We will continue to unleash those strategies in order to have a smuggle-free society.
“I want them to know that the Unit has just launched an operation nicknamed ‘Bellum Against Oryza Sativa’ meaning War on Rice Smuggling. ” he said.
The FOU Zone D Bauchi comprises Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa States.