…Rakes in over N2b in 3 months
The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it thwarted a desperate criminal move by smugglers who concealed 55 wraps of cannabis under a corpse being brought in from Ghana along Owode axis.
The Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Uba Garba Mohammed who disclosed this in a press briefing at Seme on Tuesday, said the command also seized about 2,000 cartons of expired biscuits and baby diapers, while its revenue generation from March till date stood at N2.63 billion.
Mohammed disclosed that customs operatives during a routine check had flagged down the Toyota Sienna conveying the corpse, which was certified so, but on careful examination, it was found to be on parcels of Indian hemp.
According to him, it was discovered “on further examination that something was hidden under the corpse. The vigilant customs officers wanted to know what it was, and on bringing the corpse down immediately, we saw cannabis. We didn’t believe it was a dead body, it was opened and was certified physically a dead body, and 55 wraps of cannabis was found hidden under it”.
He however stated that smuggling was drastically reducing as the agency’s anti-smuggling unit intensified enforcement.
Giving a breakdown of seizures for the period under review, the Seme customs boss revealed that the command seized a total of 8,304 bags of 50kg foreign rice (over 14 trailers) with Duty Paid Value (DPV) and levy amounting to N88.73 million.
He added that a total of 2,000 cartons of expired biscuits with a DPV of N7.74 million, 175 x 6 yards of textiles worth N2.2 million, and 15 sacks of used clothes worth N677.486 were also seized during the period.
Others items seized according to him included 11 vehicles, including Toyota Highlander (2005), Range Rover (2007), Toyota Rav 4 (2006), Toyota Venza (2010) and others with DPV of N46.1 million, 28 cartons of medicament worth N1.1 million, 410 sacks of school bags worth N13.2 million, and 493 packs of expired baby diapers worth N4.1 million.
According to the CAC, the 1,582 parcels of cannabis sativa concealed in an Indomie truck and the 55 parcels concealed in the corpse have a street value of over N30 million, bringing the revenue generated and seizures to a total of N2.8 billion.
He added that six suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seizures during the period under review.
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