Between July and September, the Nigeria Customs Service’s Federal Operations Unit in Zone C seized illegal items worth N1.6 billion in duty-paid goods, including cannabis sativa and other raw ingredients for the manufacture of explosive devices.
Speaking to reporters at the government warehouse in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, Kayode Kolade, the acting Customs Area Controller in charge of the zone, made this statement.
According to a statement released on Monday by the zone’s public relations officer, Jerry Attah, the acting area controller also stated that nine suspects were detained in connection with the seizures during the review period.
Kolade, who was unhappy with the recent smuggling in the zone, claimed that the zone had also recovered N54.2 million via demand letters, bringing the total amount recovered by the zone to N1.6 billion.
Other contrabands seized included, 417 sacks of cannabis sativa also known as Indian hemp weighing 9,194kg and 627 compressed parcels of the same Indian hemp 1kg each totalling 627kg, nine sacks of explosives’ raw materials (fertiliser, device cables, and Superpower90 chemicals) 50kg each, 1,329 bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice 50kg each, five cartons of DSP cough syrup with codeine 100mg in 1,000 bottles.
Other items include a bullion van with armour, 761 jumbo bales of used clothing, 883 cartons of different medications, including tramadol, 100 cartons of different wines, 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tyres, 335 cartons of smuggled foreign tomato paste, and 300 cartons of foreign spaghetti, among others.
The contraband was discovered at various sites within the administration of the zone, according to the area controller.
According to quick information and sting operations, the bags of rice were seized along the Calabar/Akwa Ibom axis and the Okada/Benin Motorway, and the 417 sacks and 627 parcels of Indian hemp were seized along the corresponding sections of the Okada-Benin and Ewu-Auchi Motorways.
He said, “Along Umeikaa/Aba Road and Okada-Benin Road, seven hundred and sixty-one jumbo bales of used clothing, mostly hidden in trucks and buses, were intercepted.”
“The armoured bullion van without Customs paperwork and end users certificate was intercepted along Okada/Benin Motorway, while the five cartons of DSP cough syrup with codeine and the 883 boxes of unregistered medications were found on the Benin/Asaba/Onitsha Motorway.
One hundred cartons of wine and 335 cans of tomato paste were intercepted along the Ewu/Ibilo axis, and 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tyres were also intercepted along the waterside of the Cross River and the Okada-Benin Motorway,” he added.
He voiced concern over the smuggling of explosives and added that the nation had been dealing with the difficulties brought on by instability.
Kolade issued a dire warning to human traffickers, advising them to stop immediately or face the consequences from the law.