Customs Intercept Items, Vehicles Worth Over N77m In Katsina 

Some of the seized items.

 

The Katsina State Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted eight (8) assorted vehicles and general goods with a duty paid value of ₦77,803,825 between September and October 2022.

The total duty paid value of the seized vehicles stands at ₦59,575,000.00 whereas, that of the general goods stands at ₦18,228,825.00 respectively.

The Customs Comptroller in charge of Katsina State Command, Dalha Wada Chedi, displayed some of the items seized by the Command within the period under review at the Command Headquarters, Katsina earlier on Monday.

He noted that from September 1st-30th 2022, the sum of ₦75,600,991.00 was collected whereas, from October 1st-31st 2022, the sum of ₦121,800,478.00 was collected, thus the difference of ₦46,199,487.00 with an increase of 61% recorded.

According to Chedi, the Command has recorded over N500 million from the day the Jibia border was re-opened, adding that, over N5 billion worth value of exported items have all passed through the Jibia border so far.

He noted that duties are collected on food items coming to Nigeria through the Jibia border such as beans, tiger nuts, dates, and groundnuts among other lawful items.

READ ALSO: Customs Intercept Petrol Tanker Loaded With Rice Along Nigeria-Cameroon Border

Customs Comptroller in charge of Katsina State Command, Dalha Wada Chedi

 

“We have the sample documents of those who have paid into the Federation Accounts on those products for you to verify. Any duty paid to Customs goes directly into the Federal Government Account called ‘TSA’.

“In our effort to facilitate trade, an agreement was reached with the Associations of Tiger Nuts and Palm Dates to issue their Union receipts to those that bought and load their goods from their markets to enable them present at any patrol checkpoints, they come across.

“So, the same agreement has been reached with the Associations of Beans, Groundnuts, and Sesame at Jibia, Dankama, Kaita, and Kagadama markets. You may wish to verify from them not the Groundnut Cake Retailer that was used to attract people’s sympathy.

“I assure the good people of Katsina State business community that we are professional and we will not relent in discharging our mandates, all those mischief makers should allow peace to reign or face prosecution when caught smuggling because we have intensified our strategies on arresting any smuggler.

“We are calling on those mischievous people to stop misleading the public or face the wrath of the law.

“The security heads in Katsina State have formed an ADHOC committee to go around the state to fish out all the bad eggs within the security agencies such as; illegal checkpoints, extortion, and use of camp boys in discharging official duties.

“You could remember for over a year now we have had a smooth Customs operations in Katsina; this is just a litmus test of our success.

“We are not unaware of this particular period we are in as the election is fast approaching and campaigns are on high momentum some politicians may try to
impress their voters through any means,” he said.

 

This is coming as residents of the state mostly importers and those living along the border communities reacted to a video that went viral with a narrative on alleged extortion by Customs officials from groundnuts and beans sellers along the Kaita-Dankama Road in Katsina State.

The residents believed that, Customs laws are very clear on import and export procedures and that they have a huge responsibility to block any illegal means of import and export.

Elsewhere, Mas’udu Badamasi, Nura Salisu, and Anas Salisu all of Dankama border towns in Katsina State import assorted food and non-food items from the Niger Republic. And they pledged to support the anti-smuggling campaign of the Nigeria Customs Service.

They unanimously described their relationship with Customs operatives as cordial since time immemorial.

Items seized by Customs.

 

On a visit to the Dankama border axis which is among the closed borders by the Federal Government on Tuesday, Channels Television observed that the border still remained closed with the movement of goods restricted.

It also observed that only the Jibia border is re-opened with every legitimate trader expected to import through the Jibia border alone.

The residents, however, urged the state government to lobby the Federal Government and other concerned authorities to open the Dankama border axis in order to enhance and facilitate trade thereby getting more revenue.

Customs Intercept Petrol Tanker Loaded With Rice Along Nigeria-Cameroon Border

 

The Nigeria Customs Service in Adamawa says it has intercepted bags of foreign rice concealed in a PMS tanker and Urea fertilser concealed in black polythene bags, among other banned items worth over N144 million.

The seizures were made along the Nigeria-Cameroon border route over a period of two months.

Other items seized include 165 kilogram of pangolin scales and 1,000 kilogram of donkey skins wrapped in 10 sacks and PMS worth over N12 million.

Briefing the media in Yola, Comptroller of Customs, Adamawa/Taraba Area Command, Olaniyi Alajogun, said the seizure was as a result of the measures put in place to nib smuggling activities along the route in the bud.

Smuggling: We Have Sacked Over 2,000 Corrupt Customs Officers – Colonel Hameed Ali

A file photo of Customs Comptroller General, Hameed Ali.
A file photo of Customs Comptroller General, Hameed Ali.

 

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd) has disclosed that it has laid off and prosecuted over 2,000 of its officers that were found to have compromised the system in the last seven years, warning Nigerians to be wary of being scammed by such officers.

Speaking at the weekly ministerial briefing today, the customs CG who acknowledged that the fight against smuggling has assumed a stiffer and more sophisticated dimension, noting that the agency which is procuring additional aircrafts to effectively intercept smuggling across the borders, is doing this in collaboration with the Nigerian Airforce.


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He further cautioned against consumption of imported foreign rice which he said is dangerous to human health.

The Customs boss explained the imported rice are preserved with chemical and has a short life span and for this reason their officers engage in regular seizures of these items from the markets to safe guard the health of Nigerians.

According to him the seized foreign rice is distributed to IDP camps and the needy, particularly those affected by crisis (after certification by NAFDAC).

He noted that so far the customs have generated 2.143 trillion naira in 2022, as against the projected 3.019 trillion because it is yet to commence the collection of telecommunications tax and has just commenced that of carbonated drinks.

Customs Impound 1,995 Bales Of Used Clothing In Lagos State 

The seized bales of clothing.

 

The southwest enforcement unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has impounded 1,995 bales of second-hand clothing among other contraband items.

According to the unit, this forms the largest single seizure of such goods ever made by the unit were discovered at an abandoned building around the International Trade Fair Complex in Lagos.

Speaking with journalists in Ikeja, the Acting Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone A, Hussein Ejibunu, explained that the unit made the discovery and evacuation using combined strategies of intelligence, tact, and enforcement.

On the seized used clothing, Ejibunu said “This is the highest single seizure of used clothing made by the service this year, and we have commenced investigation to know those behind this massive importation, and at what entry point these clothes came into the country”.

READ ALSO: 10 Kaduna Teachers Killed, Several Others Kidnapped In 2022 – Union

Mister Ejibunu emphasised that the unit made a series of seizures with total duty paid value of six hundred and twenty-two million, four hundred and seven thousand, five hundred and eighty-six naira (622,407, 586) in the month of September.

“Smuggling of used clothes has economic and health implications on our people. The government in its wisdom wants the local textile industry to enjoy protection and create more jobs for Nigerians from the cotton farms through the textile and garment factories to our markets,” he said.

According to him, the seizures recorded within the period include 7,328 x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, 121,550 litres of premium motor spirit, 68 cartons of frozen poultry, 37 crates of eggs used to conceal rice, 150 kg parcels of Indian Hemp, 10 pieces of military camouflage bags, six units of used cars, one unit of pump action rifle, two units of locally made guns and 35 live cartridges.

Within the same period, the unit also made a large cache of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) ingeniously concealed inside sacks which were intercepted at the Badagry axis of Lagos State.

Ejibunu added that the sum of one hundred and seven million, eight hundred and sixteen thousand, six hundred twenty-two naira, seventy-five kobo (n107,816,622.75) was also recovered in a bid to prevent losses to the government.

Five suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.

“Interestingly, the Federal High Court has passed three judgments in favor of this Unit on three criminal cases; securing the conviction of six people for being in possession of smuggled goods,” he added. “While six civil suits against the Unit were dismissed for lack of merit.”

Stating the fact according to WHO reports, the Unit boss said “According to a World Health Organization fact-sheet, ‘Monkeypox’ is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.”

“‘Monkeypox virus’ is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding.

“It is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.”

Bandits Attack Checkpoint In Katsina, Kill Customs Officer

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Bandits numbering over forty on Thursday attacked a joint security checkpoint mounted close to the 35 Battalion of the Nigerian Army along Katsina- Jibia Road, killing a Customs officer. 

A security source told Channels Television on the phone that the hoodlums stormed the area at about 2:00 am, riding on motorbikes with sophisticated weapons.

During the operation, which lasted for about 30 minutes, the group allegedly belonging to a notorious Sokoto State bandit kingpin, Solar, killed the officer, Abbo, an indigene of Benue State.

“The terrorists also carted away the rifle attached to the deceased Customs officer.

“I am sure that these terrorists were here just to test ground on how best to enter the newly established Katsina Correctional Service building that’s directly facing the Katsina Army Barracks.

“The firepower of the terrorists is superior to that of the whole security personnel mounting the checkpoint,” the source said.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Divisional Police Headquarters In Oyo, Kill Two

This attack came three days after police inspector, Idris Musa, was also killed by a terrorist gang in Makera Quarters, Kwakware Community along Katsina-Jibia Road.

An eyewitness told Channels Television that the terrorists arrived in the community today at about 7:00 am, shooting sporadically through in an attempt to chase a bus conveying some passengers.

According to him, efforts by the deceased to repel them, however, proved abortive when the terrorists laid an ambush on him which resulted in his death.

He added that the terrorists burnt down the deceased’s vehicle before they eventually abducted an unspecified number of passengers and took them to the bush.

Customs Impounds 7,000 Pieces Of Donkey Genitals, Fake Drugs In Lagos

Customs officials addressing the press.

 

About seven thousand pieces of Donkey male genital parts have been intercepted by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCoS) Murtala Mohammed Airport Cargo Command, Lagos.

The suspected cargo was meant for exportation to Hong Kong.

The Customs Area Controller Sambo Dangaladima explained that the seized dried donkey genital parts were parked in sixteen sacks.

“Upon interception of the seven thousand donkey male genitals, the importers falsely declared these illegal wildlife parts as cow male genitals. After due examination, my export officers discovered they were donkey male genitals,” he said.

“It’s the first time we are seizing this type of item and we will not allow such illegal wildlife trade to thrive under our watch”.

READ ALSO: Police Confirm ‘Simultaneous’ Attack On Three Banks In Kogi

The seized parts were handed over to the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service represented by Deputy Superintendent Adebimpe Adetunji.

Subsequently, the Command handed over nine hundred and twelve (912) packs of thirty-nine, thousand four hundred and ninety-one (39,941) tablets of fake pharmaceutical products (without NAFDAC registration number) imported from Pakistan to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The Operations Officer of the Agency at SAHCOL Hassan Yusuf said that “we need a lot of synergies to eradicate illegal importation of fake pharmaceuticals. The inscriptions on the drugs are in the Arabic language. How will a common man know this?”

While speaking on the need for a saner society, Comptroller Sambo Dangaladima charged all importers to dwell on the acceptable milligrams of Tramadol allowed for importation. He also handed over one thousand, one hundred and fifty-eight packs of one hundred and fifteen thousand, eight hundred tablets of Tramadol to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

He stressed that “The required milligram is 100 and it must be properly documented, two hundred and twenty-five is not allowed. We want everyone to follow and key into the system by doing the right thing; we have no other country but Nigeria”.

Speaking further on the revenue generation drive of the Command in the first two quarters of this year 2022, the Command, he said, has raked in thirty-four billion, seven hundred and fifty-seven million, six hundred and
eighty-three thousand and twenty-two naira (N34,757,683,022) as against
twenty-nine billion, five hundred and ninety-five million, sixteen thousand,
four hundred and thirty naira (N29,595,016,430) generated in the corresponding
period of 2021; with a corresponding revenue increase of five billion, one hundred and sixty-two million, six hundred and sixty-two thousand, five hundred and ninety two naira (N5,162,662,592).

This represents an increase in revenue by 18%. He warned would-be dubious importers to stop making use of the command to perpetrate their uncustoms trade or risk running bankrupt.

Customs Intercepts Bags Of Poisonous Rice In Ogun

Nigeria-Customs-Service-headquater-in-Abuja
File photo of Nigeria Customs Service office in Abuja.

 

Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone A, have intercepted over 1000 bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country through the Benin Republic border.

The Acting Comptroller of the Unit, Hussein Ejibunu, stated this during a briefing on Thursday.

Ejibunu said the rice with label production from India came in through the Benin land border.

According to him, before further action, the consumables are tested by the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

He said it was in the process that it was confirmed that the rice contained lead which he said is poisonous to human health.

He said: “after seizing the smuggled rice, we called NAFDAC to conduct laboratory analysis it was gathered that the rice named SIMBA which consists of Led substances that is poisonous to the body was produced in India”.

Mister Ejibunu Further warned Nigerians to desist from buying any imported rice, saying “no smuggled items will escape through the borders in the southwest under my watch”.

Bandits Invade Housing Estate In Kaduna, Kidnap Customs Officer, Five Others

Suspected terrorists abducted an unspecified number of traders travelling along the Kaduna- Birnin Gwari Road
A file photo of three armed men.

 

Gunmen suspected to be bandits have attacked a low-cost housing estate at Kofar Gayan in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State and kidnapped six people including a Customs officer and his son.

The police authorities are yet to confirm the incident but a resident of the area told Channels Television that the bandits invaded the estate at about 8 pm on Wednesday and started shooting sporadically. They moved straight to the Customs officer’s residence and thereafter took him away along with his son.

According to the source, the bandits trailed him from his family house in Zaria city down to the estate.  Four others within the estate were later abducted by the gunmen.


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Photo of the damaged AK9 Abuja-Kaduna train

 

The incident comes two days after bandits attacked an Abuja-Kaduna-bound train, killed eight people, injured 26, and kidnapped an unspecified number of persons.

Kaduna State and several others in the northwest and north-central regions have suffered from banditry in recent years.

The gunmen have largely targeted schools and other public facilities. Several persons have also been killed and many others injured in the incessant attacks.

Despite efforts by security agencies and the government, attacks by the armed men have continued and there are fears it might spread to other parts of the country.

While the bandits, who have since been declared terrorists by the government, initially attacked communities on the outskirts of states, they have somewhat become brazen in their renewed assaults.

Earlier in the month, they attacked the Kaduna Airport before storming the Abuja-Kaduna rail line a few days later, forcing commuters to resort to road transportation which was largely abandoned due to the rising security concerns in the state.

Customs Intercept Donkey Skin Packed In Lagos Warehouse

 

The Nigeria Customs Service (Strike Force) in Western Zone has intercepted donkey skin packed in a warehouse in Lagos.

The coordinator of the unit, Deputy Comptroller Mohammed Yusuf, said information about the items was gotten through intelligence gathering and impounded in the early hours of Thursday.

He said the reconstituted unit under his watch will give smugglers the run for their life.

The donkey skin has a duty paid value DPV of N2. 4 million. Also impounded is 137.3kg of Cannabis Sativa with DPV of 13.043Million

He noted that all seizures made in the full implementation of the customs and excise Management Act as Amended

Other seizures made by the unit in the last month are A 3×20 Ft Container of raw timber, 1,000 bags of foreign parboiled rice seized in cement haulage truck, used tyres, used clothing, and shoes.

The DPV Value of the seized items stands at N32 million.

Bandits Abduct Customs Officer In Zamfara, Demand N10m

Suspected terrorists abducted an unspecified number of traders travelling along the Kaduna- Birnin Gwari Road
A file photo of three armed men.

 

Suspected bandits have abducted the regional accountant of Nigerian Customs Service in charge of Kano & Jigawa State, Mr Mahassan Lawal.

Mr Lawal was kidnapped late on Friday night in his country home of Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State. The officer was whisked away by gunmen who came in their large numbers and made their way into the local government headquarters.

A younger brother to the victim, Umar Lawal,  told Channels Television that the abductors have contacted the family and demanded N10 million as ransom. He said as of 12:00 pm on Saturday, they had negotiated for the release of the abductee at N3 million but the bandits insisted on N10 million as the last option.

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The victim’s brother added that as of 1:00 pm, the gunmen switched off their phones and the negotiation was off since they could not be reached for further dialogue.

“They demanded N10 million and we tried to negotiate it to N3b million but the bandits insisted on the N10 million. So, after we told them N3 million, they switched off the phone. That was on Saturday.

“They called again yesterday and insisted on the same N10 million,” Umar explained.

Police authorities in the state are yet to comment on the incident as the state police spokesman, SP Muhammed Shehu, was unavailable to take calls when reached.

Tsafe local government in Zamfara State has been experiencing the resurgence of banditry recently which necessitated the state government to ban operations of motorcycles from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am as part of measures to address insecurity affecting the area.

The town is the hometown of the State Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mamman Tsafe, and is about 41 kilometers from the state capital, Gusau. Further details as regards the latest incident are expected in the coming hours.

Reps Recommend N390m Compensation For Extrajudicial Killings By Customs

File photo: Mr Femi Gbajabiamila presides over a plenary at the House of Representatives chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The House of Representatives on Tuesday called on the Nigeria Customs Service to pay N390,000,000 as compensation to victims of extrajudicial killings and injuries caused by its officers across the country.

This is sequel to the recommendations in the reports by the House Committee on Customs and Excise after investigating two incidents in Oyo State and one incident in Katsina State.

Chairman of the Committee on Customs and Excise, Leke Abejide, had last week presented the reports, which the House considered and adopted in plenary on Tuesday.

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This is after the committee probed the unrest in Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State due to the killing of indigenes by men of the Nigeria Customs Service.

In upholding the committee’s recommendation, the House agreed that “life has no duplicate and cannot be replaced once lost, as such, the families of the deceased should be compensated in monetary terms, each soul lost at the Iseyin incidence be compensated by the Nigeria Customs Service with the sum of N20, 000,000 each. The number of souls lost being four; the value of total compensation for the four deceased is N80, 000,000 only.”

“For the person who sustained a gunshot injury in the Iseyin incident, the sum of N2,000,000 only be paid as compensation for the treatment of the injuries sustained,” the recommendation further read.

“The grand total for compensation for both the deceased and the injured is the sum of N82,000,000 only.”

How Customs Comptroller ‘Forcefully’ Breached Airport Security – FAAN

A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has accused officers of the Nigeria Customs Service of breaching the security system at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

FAAN spokesperson, Henrietta Yakubu issued a statement on Monday, alleging that the Customs Area Comptroller for Hajj and Cargo Terminal and his officers assaulted Aviation Security officers on Thursday and forcefully took over Gate 3 of the airport.

According to her, such security breaches were becoming recurrent and must cease.

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“At about 17.45hrs on Thursday, January 20, 2022, while the AVSEC officers on day duty at Gate 3 were profiling a NAHCO vehicle that wanted to access the Security Restricted Area via Gate 3, the Customs Area Comptroller for Hajj and Cargo Terminal suddenly emerged and pulled off behind the NAHCO vehicle that was being attended to,” the statement said.

“And CSC Agunbiade, a Customs officer on the area comptroller’s entourage later shoved aside the AVSEC officer at the gate, forcefully took over the gate and opened the gate for the comptroller and his escorts to forcefully access the Security Restricted Area via the gate.

“While accessing the gate, the armed escorts to the comptroller threatened to beat up the AVSEC officers at the gate if they dare resist their assault and breach of security.

“This blatant abuse of the privilege of bearing firearms by the NCS has become a recurrent threat to the safety and security of our staff and our operations.”

While pledging to keep working to resolve all its challenges decisively, FAAN appealed to all stakeholders to respect its mandate by being disciplined and professional in the interest of national security and operational safety.