Sam Oluwalana, Ibadan
The Oyo/ Osun Command of the Customs Service , has claimed that its operatives have intercepted 1,440 bags of foreign rice, 14 vehicles, 30 bales and 20 jumbo acts of second hand clothings and 800 pieces of used tyres that worth N55,660,245, within the last three weeks.
The command’s new Customs Area Controller, Mr. David Chikan, who formally assumed duty on October 3, 2017, made this disclosure on Wedbesday when he briefed journalists in Ibadan on the activities of the command at his Ikolaba area office in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
According to Mr. Chikan, the seized bags of rice, have a total duty paid value (DPV) of N19,380,160; the vehicles also has DPV of N25,703,875; the second hand clothings and used tyres have DPVs of N4,062,500 and N6,513,710 respectively.
Chikan who added that his men arrested three suspected smugglers told the newsmen that the drivers of the arrested trucks had tried to deceive the Customs operatives into believing that their trucks are ferrying cement and gravel as well as sand to construction sites, but that the eagle-eyed operatives of the command wisened up to their tactics and foiled their attempts to smuggle their wares through the border.
His words; ”The bags of rice were intercepted from seven vehicles, comprising a Nissan Almera that carried 20 bags, Mazda bus that carried 50 bags, Volvo Tipper with 100 bags, Mercedes Ben Truck 911 with 200 bags, a truck with 420 bags, another Mazda bus with 50 bags, and Howo Trailer truck with 600 bags.
” The used tyres also seized from DAF 45 truck, while the second hand clothings were intercepted from a Mazda bus.
He added: “Most of the seizures were effected along the Oyo/Ibadan Road while the ‘tokunbo’ vehicles mainly were arrested within the Saki axis, notably at Aleniboro village in the Atisbo Local Government Area of Oyo State.
“The main mandate of the Nigeria Customs Service is to collect revenue for the Federal Government and account for same, suppress smuggling which is a serious threat to the national economy, and provide security at our national borders.
“In conformity with the directives of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd), the officers and men of the Oyo/Osun command are determined, more than ever before, to carry out this mandate to the letter. Our officers and men have been up and doing at their different duty posts and patrol bases, leading to positive dividends within the last three weeks of my assumption of duty at the command.” he explained.