- Hands over Cannabis Sativa worth N99m to NDLEA
From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Ogun 1 Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service says its operatives have seized 181 prohibited items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth N704,482,601, in four months.
Briefing reporters on Wednesday in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, on the activities of the Command for the first quarter of 2023, the Customs Area Comptroller, Comptroller Bamidele Makinde, said the seized goods including 12,610 bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice of 50kg and 25kg each, and equivalent to 21 trailer loads, were confiscated in different locations in the state.
Makinde disclosed that a spectacular seizure of 740 bags of Chinese rice of 25kg each, stockpiled in a warehouse in the Sagamu axis of the state was made on March 15.
The Comptroller itemized other seized goods within the period under review to include 1,446 cartons of imported cigarettes labelled and addressed in Chinese contrary to the extant laws of the country; 77,250 litres of PMS; 29 used vehicles used as means of conveyance; 29 pieces of big and small artifacts; 73 bales of second clothing; 14 sacks of foreign used shoes; 900 pieces of foreign used tyres; 1,120 cartons of frozen poultry products; 240 pieces body cream and 107 sacks as well as 1,375 wraps of Cannabis Sativa.
On revenue generation, Makinde disclosed that the command generated a sum of N44,857,053.50 in the period under review. He added that the proceeds of the revenue consisted of duty collected on merchandise in baggage, auction sales of scrap vehicles and petroleum products.
While noting that the revenue was higher than the sum of N5,512,901.50 generated as revenue by the command same period in 2022, the Customs Comptroller said the command was working hard to promote export business in order to shore up the forex earning of the country.
He later handed over the seized sacks of Cannabis Sativa, which he said were recorded during intelligence-driven and strategic anti-smuggling operations at the border lines and other locations in Ogun state, to the Commander of Narcotics of the Ogun State Command of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mrs Ibiba Odili.
Makinde, however, disclosed that seven suspected smugglers, who were later granted administrative bail, pending the conclusion of the investigation that would lead to their prosecution, were arrested in connection with the harmful substances worth over N98 million.
While concluding that the Ogun 1 Area Command would continue to strengthen and sustain the existing synergy with the sister agencies and ensure cordial relationships with host communities, the customs boss, lauded his men and officers for their dedication to the noble cause of fighting a monster called smuggling.
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