The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ (FOUC) of the Nigeria Customs Service, Owerri, said it seized contraband worth N318.2 million between Oct. 13 and Nov. 14.
The command’s Comptroller, Mr Ali Ibrahim, disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri on Thursday. Ibrahim said the command also arrested seven persons allegedly involved in smuggling during the period.
The seized items included an armoured Lexus LX570 jeep without End User Certificate and eight other vehicles worth N158.7 million.
The items also included 294 bags of foreign parboiled rice worth N11.7 million and concealed under packs of RC mineral drinks.
Others were 304 used tyres worth N4.5million, 657 bales of used clothing worth N131.4 million and 32,500 litres of diesel worth N11.7 million, which was concealed in 650 sacks.
Ibrahim said the items were intercepted on different routes, namely Umuikaa/Aba Road, Okada/Benin Road, Benin/Auchi Road and Enugu/Obollo Road.
He commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.), for his logistics support to the zone.
The FOUC boss urged Nigerians to continue to support the organisation in its advocacy against smuggling.
He warned smugglers to stay away from his zone, which include the South-East and South-South or be prepared to face the full wrath of the law.
Ibrahim also hailed the efforts of his operatives “for their gallantry in the face of challenging assignments” and reaffirmed his commitment to their welfare.
He said: “We recorded this sterling feat between Oct. 14, when I took over as FOUC comptroller and Nov. 13, largely due to the leadership style of the comptroller-general and the entire management team of the service.
“We pledge to continue to justify the incentives and logistics support to our command.”
He said the logistics included the supply of additional 10 Toyota Hilux vehicles to the command which, he said, were already deployed in the routine patrol and surveillance activities.
“We urge the general public to join the service in the advocacy against the peril of smuggling to the nation’s economy.
“We also warn economic saboteurs who will want to use this festive season for their nefarious activities to desist from such illegal business.
“No matter how surreptitious their activities may be, this unit is more determined and committed to ensuring strict implementation of the government’s fiscal policy,” Ibrahim said.