By Frontline Reporters
The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ Owerri, is doing no less dignified and arduous task, as the anti-smuggling unit of the Nigeria Customs service has announced its interception of about 10,080 pieces of used tyres, 205 bales of second-hand clothing, used bags, rubber slippers and exotic cars amongst others, with duty paid value of N351, 404,000.
The Customs Area Controller Comptroller Olusemire Kayode who confirmed this, praising the officers and men for the wholesome dedication and tenacity at a press briefing in Edo State, said patrol teams covering the axis made an avalanche of seizures from March to date along Benin-Shagamu road and along Oluku Ondo state road.
Comptroller Olusemire Kayode standing in front of One of the trucks impounded over smuggling…
He specifically lauded the operatives for thwarting the activities of smugglers in the area known for high smuggling activities into the South East and South-South zone, adding that their hard work complements the efforts of officers at the port and neighbouring zones.
He also explained that the Unit is witnessing a gradual rise in smuggling of tyres and other commodities against rice as the war on rice smuggling has been yielding the desired results.
“We have a container from Lagos carrying these tyres. They were able to evade the eagle eye of officers on the road but when they entered our zone we picked it up. We have 7120 pieces of used tyres in the container. We have 205 bales of second-hand clothing. We have rubber slippers, you name it we have virtually all things. Look at the number of cars we have picked up.
Smugglers have devised so many means to evade detection but it is already known to them that the service is ready and we are on their tail, anywhere they pass through we will catch up with them. If they beat detection at Idiroko, beat Seme, even beat detection from Apapa or Tincan we are there manning the flank for them and we will still pick them up,” he said.
Some of the impounded exotic cars carrying smuggled items
He added that 2,960 pieces of used tyres were also seized in a separate bust, warning that the FRSC has attributed 44 percent of road traffic accidents to the use of second-hand tyres and urged motorists to listen to the advocacy and pleas of the government and buy new tyres for their vehicles.
While displaying high-end cars seized in the Benin axis Comptroller Olusemire said the daredevil smugglers of one of the cars tried to evade detection by using a police spy plate number which on inspection was found to be fake. He also strongly condemned the importation of second-hand clothes, bags, rubber slippers and other prohibited items saying that they were classified as absolute prohibitions by the federal government because such items endanger and negatively exploit the health and safety of our nation.