Oludayo Tade, Ibadan
Oyo/Osun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has disclosed a massive seizure of banned items valued at N55,660,245.00.
The seized items include 1,440 bags of foreign rice concealed in a Tipper, Mazda lorries, buses, Tokunbo cars, used tyres and second hand clothing.
Conducting journalists round the seized vehicles and the contraband goods at the Customs Barracks, Ibadan, the Area Comptroller, Mr Elisha David, said that three suspects were equally arrested in connection with the illegal acts while investigations were ongoing to hand them over to the police for prosecution.
According to the Comptroller, who resumed the Command about three weeks ago, men of the Command recorded the successes in conformity with the directives of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Colonel Hamed Ibrahim Ali in order “to suppress smuggling which is a serious threat to the national economy, and provide security at our national borders”.
The seized items were enumerated as: “Nissan Almera conveying 20 bags of (50kg) foreign rice; DAF 45 Truck with 800 pieces of use tyres; Mazda bus with 50 bags of (50kg) foreign rice; Mazda bus with 30 bales and 20 jumbo sacks of second- hand clothing; Volvo Tipper with 100 bags of (50 kg) foreign roce; Mercedes Benz Truck 911 with 200 be of foreign rice: a Truck with 420 bag of rice; Mazda bus with 50 bags of foreign rice, and Howo Trailer with 600 bags of foreign rice”.
Others included the seized Tokunbo vehicles, among them: “Mazda Premacy, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Serena, and Mitsubishi Lancer, the Duty Paid Value of all being N55,660,245.00”.
The Comptroller said that “the seizures were effected along Oyo/Ibadan Road while the Tokunbo vehicles were arrested within the Saki axis notably at Aleniboro Village in the Atisbo Government Area of Oyo State”.
“The drivers of the arrested trucks had used the vehicles to convey the contrabands while deceiving the Customs operatives to believe that the truck was conveying cement and the 911 conveying gravels and sand”.
David therefore reiterated the commitment of the NCS “to go the extra miles in botching the unholy strategies of smugglers who are all out to do nothing else but cause havoc to the national economy”.