The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with headquarters at Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday auctioned a total of eleven thousand (11,000) Jerrycans of petroleum products intercepted by the Service about to be smuggled to Benin Republic.
It will be recalled that the N1.5 billion worth of petroleum product in 50,000 kegs was packed in about 12 wooden speedboats and was to be smuggled through Ijofin creek in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State before it was intercepted.
Aminu Dahiru, Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in-charge of Zone A, Lagos, told journalists that the seizure was made possible through intelligence gathering.
According to him,” “This is a big seizure and it needed to be showcased because of the size and the volume involved. We thought it is time to show Nigerians the activities of economic saboteurs and how we are dealing ruthlessly with them.”
While informing that the speed boats used for the attempted smuggling would be forfeited to government, the ACG added,” “Well by law, the means of conveyance is liable to seizure but I don’t know whether the speed boats have any value but at the same time it is forfeited to the federal government.
“We have seized petroleum products but we have never seized this magnitude. This is to show that those who are behind this are selfish that they do not care about the country but we will continue to strategize and be ahead of them”.
However, giving updates on the seized petroleum product on Wednesday in Lagos, the Public Relations Officer of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Lagos, Mr. Jerry Attah told our correspondent that a total of 11,000 jerrycans of petroleum products were auctioned at the unit’s headquarters at the rate of N1, 000 per jerrycan.
Attah noted that the auction which was supervised by the Deputy Controller in-charge of Revenue, DC Rashidi Adahunsi saw the products distributed to the sister agencies free of charge even as he described the exercise as peaceful and orderly.
He disclosed that there were about 40,000 jerrycans waiting to be evacuated at the creek where the products were intercepted adding that the operatives of the unit, Western Marine and the Idiroko commands were keeping watch over the products with back up from other security agencies including the Nigerian Army.
On what would happen to the remaining intercepted products at the creek, Attah said that the service may not take the pain of bringing the products to Lagos anymore owing to its inflammatory nature adding that the products may be distributed among the neighbouring commands for onward auction to the members of the public.
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