The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ has intercepted various contrabands with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N869,550,345.00 between 1st and 31st January 2021.
The seized items include 1,024 cartons of unregistered pharmaceutical products, 1,046 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each, 290 cartons of imported Eva soap, 62 jumbo bales of secondhand clothing, and one Toyota Corolla 2018 model.
“The 1,046 bags of foreign parboiled rice were trailed and evacuated from an unnamed warehouse along Elelenwo Road in Portharcourt based on credible and timely intelligence, which was followed by rules of engagement and ensued professionalism,” said Jerry Attah, Public Relations Officer of the Command.
This is in line with Customs responsibility to ensure full implementation of the Federal Government policy that bans the importation of rice through land borders in order to boost local production. While the interception of unregistered drugs helps to protect the citizens from the consumption of harmful product that could be inimical to their health.
According to Attah, the Command re-strategised its operational modalities and beamed searchlight at the Creek, water side, and at various locations in south-south, and South East zones.
Yusuf Lawal, Customs Area Controller of the Command, told newsmen that the interception of the 1,024 cartons of unregistered Colcaps medicaments imported from India without NAFDAC certification, was a source of concern for the command.
“Our concern now is to unravel those behind the importation, their accomplices and their antics of scaling through unapproved routes. The negative effects of unlicensed drugs if gotten to the wrong hands cannot be over emphasised. The drugs were intercepted along Ofosu-Benin Expressway while the 290 cartons of soap, which is under prohibition list were intercepted along Aba-Owerri Road based on intelligence,” Lawal stated.
Lawal however assured that the Unit will continue to make sure smugglers within its jurisdiction count their losses until they repent from sabotaging the economy, adding that there is no amount of resistance from smugglers and their mob accomplices that will deter the Service from performing its statutory responsibilities of suppressing smuggling.
“Our resolute remains to degrade the activities of smugglers through aggressive patrol of all flanks and flashpoints. We will be very ruthless with these economic saboteurs because we have a responsibility to protect the nation’s economy in line with the expectations of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.
He appreciated the synergy that exists among the Military, the Police, other security agencies and Customs as well as the media in enabling the Service to meet its target.