… As officers reject $150,000 bribes from arrested syndicates

…Seizes over 93, 000 litres of PMS at Badagry creeks

    By Steve Agbota

    The Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Thursday said that it intercepted about $6 million fake currency worth over N2.763 billion at Gbaji area of Badagry trying to be smuggled out of the country.

    The is even as the Command also seized 1300 by 30 liters jerry can of PMS equivalent 39.000 liters roughly over one fuel tanker of PMS from along the creeks with duty paid value of N9. 366 million only.

    Customs Area Controller Seme Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi disclosed this while showcasing the seizures yesterday at Seme border, said that two suspects conveying the fake currency from Nigeria to the Republic of Benin were arrested two male suspects were arrested in connection with the crime and are in currently in our custody pending prosecution.

    According to him, the arrest was made at Gbaji checkpoint along the Seme corridor on January 31, 2023, saying that two male suspects arrested in connection with the crime and are in currently in Custom’s custody pending prosecution.

    He said the suspects promised to bribe the Customs officers with $150,000 original currency in order to allow the fake currently passage but the officers rejected the offer.

    “It would only take the eagle eye of a trained officer to detect that they are fake. Some of these currencies bear the same serial number, and besides that, it will be very difficult for you to identify them as fake.

    “Also on January 31, 2023 at a about 0530 hours, officer on patrol along Gbetrome base intercepted six Maltese International Passports with the same picture of a lady but bearing different names, two Senegalese International Passports , three Togolese International Passports, four Republic of Benin International Passports, one Republic of Niger International Passport and ten International Driving License of these various countries from two male suspects who are also in our custody pending further investigation.

    “Other items seized include 55 sacks containing 550 pieces of donkey skin with DPV of N11.371 million 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,” he added.

    Expressing delight at the high level of integrity of the Customs officers who facilitated the seizures, he hinted that he would write to the Customs management to reward their exemplary conduct.

    On the non-functional scanners and weighbridge at the Seme Border post, the Customs boss said that his predecessor had made several interventions on the issue, even as he assured that the challenge will be communicated to the Customs management and the Ministry of Finance.

    Meanwhile, the Customs boss said that the Command will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitize and educate the public on social/economic implication of smuggling as well as performing statutory functions of enforcing compliance in line with government fiscal policies.

    “During my courtesy visit to the traditional rulers in various communities 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,” he stated.

    Also speaking at the event, the Controller, Seme Command of Nigeria Immigration Service, Dr M.C Dike said the passport must be related to an international syndicate.

    “It is possible for you to have a dual nationality, but from his explanation, it is clear that the suspects are international syndicates indulged in criminal behaviours.

    “The seizure and the amount of money that have being seized marvels me. We are talking about billions of naira. These are criminals moving across the borders and this is the implication for us,” he said.

    Industry observers, however, have expressed delight at the significant attainment of Customs at the border post barely a fortnight after the posting of Comptroller Dera Nnadi, to the Command.