By Steve Agbota
The Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said that it intercepted catche of ammunition concealed in cassava flour in Oyo state smuggled into the country.
Speaking to newsmen yesterday, the Customs Ara Controller, Federal Operation Unit (FOU), A, Compt. Hussein Ejibunu said within the period under review, the unit had a total of 37 suspects arrested for various offences.
He also disclosed that the unit made series of seizures which include bags of rice, sacks of secondhand clothing, Indian hemp, exipred medicaments, poultry products and among others.
Ejibunu disclosed that 751 pieces of AAA cartridges (70MM) of live ammunition was intercepted at the outskirt of Igbo-ora in Oyo state, saying there is a disturbing trend of smuggling deployed by smugglers which has to do with massive use of motorcycles to smuggle parboiled rice using bush paths not accessible to vehicles.
He further added that cumulative seizures of such means of conveyance is over 100 units in Customs’ custody.
“Another challenge that has remained unabated is the issue of ambush attacks of officers unproked. Just on Saturday 16, 2021, my patrol team ran into a convoy of more than 24 vehicles laden with smuggled rice and they were able to intercept 12 along Abeokuta/Sagamu interchange.
“As the officers make their way to Lagos, over 300 smugglers and hoodlums had mobilized and attacked the officers with pump-action rifles and others. In the process, the patrol vehicle was riddled with bullets while the windscreen was shattered. The aftermath attack was the forceful retrieval of eight of the 12 intercepted vehicles and injured two officers,” he said.
However, he said that the officer and men of the Unit also seized 621 cartons of expired medicaments, 8000 bags of smuggled rice at 50kg each, 1,419 jerrycans of vegetable oil and 1,301 bales and 128 sacks of secondhand clothing.
He said other seizures are 233 bundles of wrapper, 635 cartons of wine, 1,046 pieces of used tyres, 21 cartons of cutlasses at 60 pieces each, 531 pieces of used compressor, 986 cartons of chocolate biscuits and 229 wraps of (114.5kg) of cannabis sativa (Indian hemp).
The said the Unit also seized 856 jerrycan of PMS at 25 litres each, 1,516 cartons of frozen poultry products and 18 units of motorcycles inclusive of 80 means of conveyance, all with a duty paid value (DPV) of N723,288 million.
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