• Sunday, March 03, 2024
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Customs seize smuggled motorcycle parts in fight against illegal trade

In a bold move against smuggling activities, the Nigeria Customs Service intercepted a truck loaded with dismantled motorcycle parts along the Odeda Abeokuta road. The controller of the unit, Hussain Ejibunu, revealed that preliminary investigations discovered the truck was carrying 1,004 units of motorcycles sourced from a warehouse at the border of Nigeria and the Benin Republic.

Ejibunu warned smugglers to steer clear as the unit has ramped up its anti-smuggling efforts this year.

Accompanied by senior officers, Ejibunu arrived at the government warehouse on Toyin Street in Lagos to assess the situation. He emphasised the potential dangers of such smuggling activities, linking them to terrorism and kidnapping.

“You can see 100 to 200 motorcycles all at once. And they will carry into the bush, furthering terrorism and kidnapping,” Ejibunu said.

The intercepted truck, laden with motorcycle parts, was suspected to contain over 1,000 motorcycles when fully assembled. It was brought into the country illegally to evade duties, bypassing approved routes through official ports.

“The import net did not pass through approved routes, either through our ports. Now that gave credence to the fact that these things were to be used for sub terrainial reasons. Reason best known to the importer or the person bringing it in,” he said.

Speaking on the matter, Ejibunu expressed scepticism about the importer’s motives, suggesting the parts may not have been intended for commercial purposes.

“Because I do not believe that it will be for commercial gain. But it could be for other reasons best known to them,” he said.

The seizure underscores the effectiveness of collaboration and intelligence sharing, further leading to the confiscation of 1,490kg of suspected cannabis sativa at the Ilara border between Nigeria and Benin, as well as a significant seizure of rice.

With a commitment to minimising smuggling activities across the western zone, the unit has pledged to intensify its efforts, ensuring that illegal activities are curtailed to the fullest extent possible.