CITIZENS COMPASS- THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Customs Command on Thursday, said its men seized the sum of fake $6m Dollars worth N2.763bn in Gbagi, Seme border in Lagos.
According to the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Controller Dera Nnadi who confirmed this to newsmen said, “In the last 13 days, the Command recorded milestones in its anti- smuggling operations. Some of the anti-smuggling landmarks by the Command include the seizure of fake Six Million USD (equivalent of N2.763 Billion at exchange rate of N460.52) and the arrest of two suspects conveying the fake currency from Nigeria to the Republic of Benin. Two male suspects were arrested in connection with the crime and are in currently in our custody pending prosecution. The arrest was made at Gbaji checkpoint along the Seme corridor on the 31 of January, 2023.
“Also on the 31st of January, 2023 at about 0530 hours, Officers on patrol along Gbetrome base intercepted Six Maltese International Passports with the same picture of a lady but bearing different names.
“Also intercepted are two Senegalese International Passports, Three Togolese International Passports. Four Republic of Benin International Passports. One Republic of Niger International Passport and 10 International Driving License of these various countries from two male suspects who are also in our custody pending further investigation.
Also arrested and seized are 1300 by 30 liters jerry can of PMS equivalent to 39.000 liters with duty paid value of N9, 366.45 only. The products were seized from along the creeks.
“Other items seized include 55 sacks containing 550 pieces of donkey skin with DPV OF N 11.371.511. The significant of the seizure is that it shows how much our endanger species are being eroded by unpatriotic elements.
These achievements (progress) so far, were not made on a platter of gold. It took the painstaking efforts of the officers who spend hours on patrol and surveillance to record the seizures. We wish to reiterate that we will not relent on this effort.
“The Command will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitize and educate the public on social/economic implication of smuggling as well as performing statutory function of enforcing compliance in line with government fiscal policies.
“Permit me to once more use this opportunity to appeal to parents and guardians residing in border communities to prevail on their children, wards and youths to desist from such criminal acts such as smuggling
“During my courtesy visit to the traditional rulers in various communities in Seme Badagry axis. I sought for their support in combating smuggling and urged them to educate their subjects on the menace of smuggling and the need to support security operatives discharging their statutory duties.
“It is gratifying to note that we are all on the same page on the need to improve on our relationship with a view to maximize the opportunities offered the proximity of the State to the border and develop trade in Lagos State.
“In all the traditional palaces visited, the challenges facing the border communities were enumerated to include lack of Federal presence in terms of infrastructure and developments. unemployment of the youths and we received request for Nigeria Customs Service to specifically create quota for children of the border communities during its recruitment exercises to generate employment for their teeming youths. I have communicated their request and recommended same to the Management of the Nigeria Customs Service.
“Let me at this interval, appreciate the collaborative efforts of other sister agencies in the fight against smuggling and appeal for their continuous support. It is important to note that activity embarked upon by the Command is a patriotic duty in the interest of national security and economic wellbeing of Nigeria. NCS operatives in observance of the rules of engagement will continue to carry out its legitimate duties as prescribed by the law.
“In conclusion, we thank the CGC and management of Customs. officers and men of the Command, community leaders and partner government agencies who are showing concern and are collaborating with the Service for their continuous support. We also thank and appreciate the Press for being objective in reporting the challenges faced by Officers while executing their duty.”