Four personnel of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), have been murdered by dare-devil smugglers of foreign parboiled rice in Ogun State.
Speaking to journalists, the acting Customs Area Controller, FOU, Zone A, Hussein Ejibunu, said the officers were all murdered in cold blood in year 2022.
According to him, the intercepted smuggled items, which worth N13.9billion in the year under review included 93,102 bags of foreign parboiled rice, and 656,414 litres or over 20 truckloads of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.
Other items seized, according to the acting CAC, were foreign parboiled rice, vehicles, drugs, textiles, petroleum products and other items in the import and export prohibition lists.
He said, “the officers that paid the supreme sacrifice are, Inspectors of Customs, T.P Astor; A Onwueguzie; Assistant Inspectors of Customs, Musa. R and Bristol. E, all lost their lives in active service while confronting smugglers last year. While we frowned at such murderous acts, we also ensured that those behind some of the killings were arrested to face justice.”
Speaking on the seizures, he continued, “from January 1 to December 31, 2022, we made a total seizure of smuggled items worth a duty paid value of N13.9billion. Aside protecting the national economy, some of the seizures achieved protection of citizens’ health because dangerous, expired and harmful products were prevented from being smuggled into the country.
“In terms of volume, rice topped the list of our seizures. We seized 93,102 X 50kg which amounts to about 156 trailer loads of rice.
“A total number of 108 automobiles comprising of trucks, tankers, cars and motorcycles were seized either as smuggled items or means of conveyance of smuggled items.
“Illicit drugs seized in the year under review are, 7,354 kg of Cannabis sativa; 233 cartons of 225 milligrams and 82 packs of 225 milligrams of Tramadol. For petroleum products, the unit seized 656,414 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) of about 20 tankers load of fuel on verge of being smuggled out of the country.”
He disclosed that the unit collected a whooping N878.3million debit note from importers who short-payed the government on import duty.