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Customs Border Patrol Seizes N1.1bn Contrabands in Two Months

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The Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) Sector II, Southwest Zone, has intercepted contraband items valued at N1,128,684,900 within the span of two months.

Deputy Comptroller Mohammed Shuaibu, Coordinator of JBPT Sector II, made the disclosure during a press briefing held at the Customs Training College in Ikeja, Lagos, on Friday.

Shuaibu attributed the success of the operation to the diligent efforts of officers and personnel deployed across border areas in the six states of the southwest geopolitical zone.

“The interception operations were carried out intensively across the border areas of the southwest geopolitical zone. As a result, we have seized contraband items worth over N1.1 billion,” DC Shuaibu stated.

He disclosed that the seizures included 4,051 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 3,751 jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 425 cartons of frozen poultry products (subsequently destroyed), 912 used tyres, and 30 sacks of Cannabis Sativa (comprising 85 blocks and 125 wraps).

Additionally, the team also reportedly confiscated 30 units of various means of conveyance, 7 Tokunbo vehicles, 1 truck, and 4 motorcycles.

“In connection with some of these seizures, we have arrested 5 suspects who are currently undergoing investigation and prosecution,” DC Shuaibu added.

Highlighting the collaborative effort of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) within the JBPT, Shuaibu noted the arrest of 30 illegal migrants who violated immigration laws.

Furthermore, the JBPT Sector II raised N11,533,217 in revenue through the issuance of Demand Notices (DN) on vehicles and other goods that were improperly imported into the country.

DC Shuaibu thanked the Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, and his management team for their support, including logistics and strategic guidance, which enabled the successful operations and outcomes achieved by the JBPT Sector II.

Meanwhile, the NCS, in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), has initiated “Operation Whirlwind” to tackle fuel smuggling.

This nationwide operation is designed to curb the illegal exportation of petroleum products, safeguard Nigeria’s economic interests, and dismantle smuggling networks.

Led by Comptroller of Customs, Hussein Ejibunu, Operation Whirlwind spans all NCS zones and involves specially trained officers equipped to handle the complexities of combating fuel smuggling.

During the inauguration of the operation recently, Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, underscored its strategic importance in protecting Nigeria’s economy from the detrimental impacts of smuggling.

“Economic saboteurs must face the full force of the law,” he declared emphatically. “We have steadily strengthened our service, increased our revenue targets, and now we must significantly impact the Nigerian economy.”

Adeniyi emphasised that Operation Whirlwind is an intelligence-driven initiative aimed at complementing governmental policies aimed at curbing smuggling.

“This is not merely a task force or routine checkpoints,” he clarified. “It is a concerted effort backed by high-level political will. Our mission demands unwavering dedication, and there will be severe consequences for anyone who undermines our objectives. Sabotage will not be tolerated.”

The CGC stressed the imperative of unity and collaboration among the officers involved, highlighting their pivotal role in the success of the operation.

“You have been chosen for your capabilities,” Adeniyi affirmed. “Under the leadership of your coordinator, we rely on your teamwork to achieve our goals. This is not a competition but a unified effort against those hindering our progress.”

Following the recent removal of fuel subsidies, which resulted in a price adjustment within Nigeria, the country maintains significantly lower PMS prices compared to its West and Central African counterparts.

Currently priced at an average of N701.99 per litre domestically, PMS sells for N1,672.05 in the Republic of Benin and N2,061.55 in Cameroon.

Similar price differentials exist in other neighboring countries, with Liberia at N1,427.68 and Mali at N2,128.20, averaging N1,787.57 across the region.

This stark contrast in pricing creates a lucrative incentive for smugglers to transport PMS from Nigeria to neighboring nations, where it commands substantially higher prices.

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