The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted contraband valued at N11.66 million. The Controller of the unit, Comptroller Mohammed Umar, said this in a statement he made available to newsmen on Sunday in Lagos through Mr Uche Ejesieme, the unit’s Public Relations Officer,(PRO). The statement said that the seizures were recorded on Jan. 14 and Jan. 16 respectively by the Controller after his assumption of office on Jan. 12, 2016. It stated that the first seizure of 158 bales of second-hand clothes was effected by the Lagos Monitoring Unit through intelligence information at Iju area of Lagos State. The statement said the Controller’s Surveillance Team, Idiroko Axis, while acting on a tip-off, also intercepted a truck-load of 500 bags of smuggled 50kilogrammes of rice each. It added that the team intercepted another Mercedes Benz truck along Sagamu-Ijebu-Ode Road found to be carrying 551 cartons of smuggled frozen poultry products concealed in 600 bags of cement. The statement noted that the same team also intercepted a truck along Ijebu-Ode Road axis laden with 400 bags of 50kilogrammes of rice each suspected to be smuggled. It added that the Monitoring Team ‘A’ Idiroko Axis, while on routine patrol, intercepted another truck with foreign number laden with logs of rough wood along the Abeokuta-Ibese Road. The statement said that the truck was suspected to be heading toward the borders in violation of the extant rules on export. It quoted the controller as saying, “My mandate here is to bring my experience to bear in degrading the menace of smuggling. “All hands must be on deck as I will be prepared to encourage and support our operatives in this campaign. “The statutory function of the unit is a task that must be done, irrespective of whatever challenge or hiccup we might encounter. “My principal objective is to ensure that all officers of the unit key-in into the change mantra of the Federal Government.” The statement also commended the efforts of the various teams that exhibited operational efficiency and urged others to emulate the laudable achievements of their counterparts. It also said the controller warned smugglers to have a rethink by investing in more legitimate businesses. It said the controller, however, assured legitimate and compliant traders of the support of the unit in terms of facilitation of legitimate trade. The statement called on patriotic Nigerians to oblige the unit with genuine and useful information that could help it to arrest smugglers irrespective of their methods. (NAN)
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