By Steve Agbota                                    

 

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone B, on Tuesday, said it intercepted contraband worth N3.17billion from smugglers in one month.

Speaking during a press conference in Kaduna, the Customs Area Controller, Ahmadu Shuaibu, disclosed that four smugglers were arrested in connection with the illegal movement of contraband in and out of the country.

According to him, the intercepted goods are donkey bones, meat, worth over N3 billion while the unit also seized sachets of tramadol and 48,000 ampules of anelgin injection.

It was reported that the unit also intercepted other contraband such as 12 vehicles; 174 bags of foreign rice (50 kg each), 234 jerry cans of PMS (25 litres each), 109 bales of second hand clothing, 367 cartons of spaghetti, 50 cartons of macaroni and 47 jerry cans of foreign vegetable oil.

Other items confiscated are; Six sacks of used shoes, 100 sacks of snuff, 30 bags of foreign sugar (25kg each), 2,255 cartons of herbicide chemical, 10 cartons of foreign couscous; 235 bags of foreign flour (25kg each) and 100 cartons of general goods.

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“Of great importance is the interception of the illegal products of donkey perpetrated by some unscrupulous elements with no regard for the lives and preservation of endangered species like the donkey which is near extinction. It is therefore with a personal sense of sadness that we announce that our officers and men, on two separate occasions, impounded consignments of donkey bones and donkey meat, respectively, with a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of about N3 billion.

“On April 25, 2024, operatives of the unit acting on credible intelligence, intercepted one truck with registration number GGE 526 XL along Sokoto/Gusau road in Zamfara State conveying illicit goods which were brought to Kaduna.

“Upon careful examination, the truck was discovered to be conveying 750 sacks of donkey bones. The DPV for the donkey bones was estimated at N2.36billion. It would interest you to know that one suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure,” he said.

He said again on May 5, 2024 at about 0310hrs, the operatives of the unit intercepted two trucks carrying dried donkey meat along Kontagora – Tegina road in Niger State. After 100 per cent physical examination, the trucks were found to contain 860 sacks of dried donkey meat. Three suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.

“The above illegal trading clearly contravenes Section 55 (1) paragraph c and i (1) of the NCS Act 2023 which says that, “Import and exports shall where applicable be subject to prohibitions and restrictions relating to the protection of the health and life of humans, animals, or plants; controlled goods imported or exported in line with relevant international laws, conventions and agreements (1) relevant international laws, convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora.” he said.

“Government is concerned that donkeys are part of rare animals that are being driven towards extinction by activities of unscrupulous elements, and Nigeria is signatory to the international convention for the continued prevention of endangering these species. Therefore, the Unit and indeed the Nigeria Customs Service will not and cannot fold its hand and allow this illegal trade to continue to take place,” Compt Shuaibu stated.


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