The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone C said it intercepted contrabands worth N1.6 billion between July 25 and September 23, 2023.
Kayode Kolade, acting Customs Area Controller of the unit, who disclosed this on Monday, expressed worry over the smuggling of explosives, hard drugs, and cannabis into the country.
According to him, nine suspects were arrested in connection to the smuggling of 417 sacks of cannabis sativa also known as Indian hemp weighing 9,194kg, and parcels of Indian hemp of 1kg each, totalling 627kg.
He listed other intercepted items to include nine sacks of explosives’ raw materials; 1,329 bags, 50kg each of smuggled foreign parboiled rice; five cartons of 100mg DSP Cough Syrup with codeine-containing 1000 bottles; one unit of armoured Bullion Van and 761 jumbo bales of second-hand clothing.
“Others are 883 cartons of various unregistered and expired medicaments including tramadol; 100 cartons of various wines; 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tyres; 335 cartons of smuggled foreign tomato pastes and 300 cartons of foreign spaghetti,” Kolade said.
He said the unit raised a debit note and recovered N54.24 million from importers who underpaid Customs duty. He said the armoured Bullion Van without Customs documents and an End User Certificate from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) was intercepted along the Okada/Benin Expressway.
On the areas where some of the contraband was intercepted, he said the smuggled rice was intercepted along the Calabar/Akwa Ibom axis and Okada/Benin expressway while the Indian hemp was intercepted at the Okada-Benin and Ewu-Auchi Expressway.
According to him, 761 Jumbo bales of used clothing were intercepted along Umeikaa/Aba Road and Okada-Benin Road while cartons of DSP cough syrup with codeine, and unregistered medicaments were intercepted along Benin/Asaba/Onitsha Expressway.
Expressing worry over the smuggling of explosives into the country especially in the face of rising insecurity, Kolade warned smugglers to desist from importing contraband in the interest of humanity.