At least five suspected smugglers have been arrested and detained by officers of the Katsina Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC).
Arrested along with Dutsima Local Government Area of Katsina State, the suspects comprised four young men that followed a petroleum tanker vehicle concealed with bags of foreign parboiled rice along with a man who eventually came claiming ownership of the vehicle.
In the process, items worth 32 million, 876 thousand, 300 naira were also seized.
While briefing newsmen at the command headquarters, Katsina, the newly posted Customs Area Comptroller in charge of Katsina Area Command, Comptroller Adewale Musa Aremu explained that the suspects are currently undergoing interrogation in a cell, assuring readiness and determination to deal decisively with smugglers in the state.
Items seized include 210 bags of foreign parboiled rice valued at three million, 696 thousand naira, DAF truck used as means of conveyance valued at 13 million, 500 thousand naira, one BMW X5 2014 Model valued at 3 million, 526 thousand, 52 naira, one Hilux Toyota 2020 Model valued at 6 million, 809 thousand, 403 naira, as well as one Toyota Land Cruiser valued at 17 million 494 thousand, 845 naira.
It could be recalled that on February 2nd, 2021, twenty assorted items with a Duty Paid Value of 152 million, 866 thousand naira have been intercepted by the Joint Border Patrol Team of the Nigeria Customs Service in Katsina State.
The Coordinator of Sector 4 Command of the National Border Drill Operations, Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed disclosed this during a press briefing held at the state capital.
The achievements were according to the coordinator recorded in the last three weeks since the opening of the nation’s twelve land borders with three of the borders picked as a sample to assess the level of compliance.
Mohammed while advising residents living around the border communities to desist from accommodating smugglers and their illegally smuggled items threatened to use section 8 of the Customs and Excile Management Act (CEMA) to expose all items deposited in various warehouses suspected to have been smuggled into the country.
He further warned traditional title holders particularly in Kebbi State to desist from mobilizing hooligans especially the youths, married women and children to attack Customs Officers.
He recalled that a lot of Customs Officers were killed and some injured with most of the Customs vehicles burnt down last year while carrying out their Official assignments.
Of the 56 seizures conveyed through 15 means of conveyance,1312 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50 Kilograms each topped the list.
This follows by 990 Kilograms of Indian hemp, 864 litres of Petroleum Motor Spirit and 78 bales of used clothing of 200 Kilograms each.
Other items seized include 193 Jerry cans of foreign vegetable oil of 25 litres each, 160 jerry cans of diesel, 24 cartons of foreign spaghetti, 12 sacks of new foreign textile material, 51 bags of foreign sugar of 50 Kilograms each and 4 cartons of foreign couscous of 20 Kilograms each among others.