The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone C, Owerri, on Thursday impounded and destroyed imported frozen poultry products, with duty paid value of 109 million Naira.
The new Zonal Comptroller, FOU Zone C, Mohammed Garba, disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the zonal headquarters in Owerri the Imo state capital, South East Nigeria.
He confirmed that the men and officers of the command, made the seizure when they intercepted a DAF truck with registration number LND 641 XM, loaded with 11,315 cartons of imported frozen poultry products, along the Benin Republic axis.
This, according to him, took place barely two days after he assumed office as the new Area Comptroller of the Federal Operations Unit Zone C, Owerri.
Shedding more light on the seizure, the zonal comptroller said that the smugglers devised a new method of smuggling named ‘false bottom’, which according to the officers, was fashioned by die-hard smugglers to beat the men of the Nigerian Customs.
According to Mr Garba, the operation was “spectacular” because of its method of concealment.
Explaining how the ‘false bottom’ strategy is carried out, he said “the smuggled goods are stockpiled in the inner chamber of the partition, which is aimed at deceiving Customs officials.
He revealed that two suspects had been arrested in connection with the seizure, and were helping them in preliminary investigations.
Mr Garba, however, warned all smugglers or intending smugglers to desist from the illegal business and economic sabotage as measures have been put in place to fight any vices, especially during the coming festive season.
“This should serve as a signal to smugglers and intending smugglers to desist from this illicit business because the present leadership of the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs, Col. Hammed Ali Rtd and his management team, is now better equipped, empowered and restructured to combat smuggling to its barest minimal,” the Zonal Comptroller said.
The Customs Boss also used the opportunity to advise all Nigerians to be more mindful of what they consume as well as the purchase of poultry products that have been banned by the Nigerian Customs service.