The Headquarters Special Assignment Team ‘C’ Ogun State Axis headed by Assistant Comptroller of Customs Shittu Almarof weekend raised the standard of its anti-smuggling campaign with the interception of a Volvo truck, laden with suspected prohibited goods.
The team leader, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Ismaila Aminu Umar, in a statement said the new anti-smuggling strategy targeted at aggressive patrol activities for the degradation of smugglers, while on routine patrol along Sagamu-Benin Expressway, intercepted a Volvo truck with registration number LND 298 XN during random checks on suspected vehicles/trucks along the axis.
According to Umar, “The body language and general disposition of the occupants’ fuelled suspicion that there could be contraband goods other than what was seen on the surface; hence a search was conducted on the truck even though the occupants had earlier told them that the truck was carrying frozen fish”.
The team leader further pointed out that the truck was brought down to the Headquarters of Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ Ikeja-Lagos, where physical examination confirmed that the truck had seven hundred and eighty five (785) cartons of smuggled frozen poultry products concealed with four hundred and seventy eight (478) cartons of frozen fish. According to the statistical Value of the seized goods, the cumulative Duty Paid Value is nine million, nine hundred and seventy five thousand naira (N9,975,000.00) only.
Umar noted that his team is working assiduously in close collaboration with other anti-smuggling outfits in the zone to deal very decisively with the hydra headed monster of smuggling. He noted that the team has a responsibility to compliment the effort of allied teams in the Zone in view of the need to frontally tackle smuggling within the South-West and its confines.
He reiterated his determination to ensure the dislodgement of smugglers in the Zone through his latest approach of collaboration with the communities along the unapproved routes for information on the activities of smugglers.
He added that “The Headquarters Special Assignment Team is doing everything in sync with other anti-smuggling Units namely the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ and state Commands to ensure the protection of the interest of local investors in the agric sector and other critical areas. “We were given a specific mandate at inception to aggressively patrol all flanks and flashpoints within the Zone and ensure total blockade of such identified areas. The capacity of the team has been strengthened to meet the exigencies of the moment”. If you look at the parameters, you will agree with me that the heat is on these smugglers and we will do everything humanly possible to pre-empt them with a view to wrecking havoc. It is on the basis of this, that we request the support of patriotic informants to avail the Service and the team with genuine information that can help us track them. I wish to reiterate at this juncture that the task of eradicating smuggling within our domain remain the responsibility of all Nigerians and we must not renege on this responsibility, because posterity and history will not be fair to us if we fail to do the needful. “We must realize that we have a duty to safe guard the economy from the hands of economic saboteurs who are bent on destroying our economy”.
Daily Champion recalls that the team had been involved in several spectacular seizures in recent times as a result of its pro-activeness and dexterity. The team leader emphasized that smuggling is a cancer that destroys the fabric of the Nation’s economy and promised that his team alongside others in the Zone are fully committed and determined to be at the vanguard of this campaign for the overall benefit of the Service. He promised to work in line with the policy thrust of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and his Management which is anchored on integrity, transparency and accountability. He appreciated the support of the NCS Management and promised not to let them down.