Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The Katsina State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has impounded various quantities of banned vegetable oil, rice, mosquito coils and used clothes, valued at about N19 million, from smugglers operating within the border locations in the area.
Briefing reporters on the activities of his Command between late 2017 and early 2018, Comptroller of Customs in the state, Kayode Olusemire, said that three persons were arrested in connection with the latest attempt at smuggling the products into the country.
“The smugglers are smart but we are smarter, the Customs boss said, adding further that, “we have virtually brought them down on their knees.”
Olusemire also said that it took his men about four weeks of “intensive ambush” for the smugglers, based on intelligence report, before they could track the smugglers.
As he puts it, “the smugglers engage in clandestine operations especially in the night and they deploy a number of trailers, some of which they use as decoy.
“In this instance, they used six tailers but only one of them was actually conveying the seized goods but our men were equal to the task as they were able to identify the real trailer.
“Prior to about April last year, most of the smuggled rice in the country came from Katsina State but we have succeed in drastically reducing the influx.
“We used to battle daily with the smugglers and we could not close our eyes but now, we are able to close one eye as the rate of rice smuggling has reduced.
“Mosquito coils have always been on the list of banned goods because we have industries here that engage in its production but some Nigerians have taste for foreign goods.”
The Customs boss also said that a total of six persons were currently being prosecuted at the courts within the period under review.