By Eguono Odjegba
THE Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘B’ Kaduna made 645 seizures of contraband items with Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N1.7 billion in the first half of 2020. The figure is against 425 seizures made during the corresponding period of 2019 with DPV of N762.1 million.
The current seizures include 157 vehicles, 6,340x50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice and 2,276 kegs of vegetable oil.
The Comptroller, Mustafa Sarkin-Kebbi, however, lamented the worsening dimension of attacks on operatives of the unit, accusing smugglers of engaging bandits to kidnap his officers with the aim of creating fear amongst the operatives and achieving easy get away with unlawful imports.
Other seized items include 2,352 cartons of spaghetti/macaroni, 162 bags of foreign sugar, 1,324 cartons of soap, 1,713 bales of textile materials, 14 cartons of mosquitoes coil, 394 cartons of various pharmaceuticals, 298 cartons of tomatoes paste, 270 pieces of used tyres 1,167 bags of NPK fertilizers, 291 kegs of PMS and 484 parcels of India hemp.
While giving further breakdown, Sarkin-Kebbi said revenue made from smuggled vehicles amounted to N2.03 billion. He commended the cooperation of sister security agencies, especially the Nigerian Army which lead to unconditional release of two (2) kidnapped Customs personnel at Batsari, Kaduna State.
The Unit’s Public Relations Officer, Abubakar Usman said, “One officer in the line of duty was shot dead by bandits and 4 others recorded various degree of injury in the course of operations while Eighteen (18) defendants have been arrested in connection with the aforementioned seizures and are being prosecuted accordingly.”