Customs seizes 25 vehicles, N73.45m worth of cigarettes in Sokoto
By Abdallah el-Kurebe
The Sokoto/Kebbi/Zamfara Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), says it has seized 600 cartons of Gold Seal cigarettes with duty value of N73.45 million as well as 25 vehicles alleged to have been smuggled illegally into the country through the command.
The Area Comptroller, Mr. Ahmed Isyaku disclosed this in Sokoto on Tuesday when he briefed Journalists on the activities of the command.
According to him, the cigarettes were intercepted in a vehicle with registration number Katsina XA 651 CRC not because they are contraband but because the owner failed to pay the specified customs duties.
“The commodity was seized not because it was a contraband, but because the owner had failed to pay the specified duties. The cigarettes were seized on September 12th at about 5.30 pm by our operatives who were on patrol along Gusau – Tsafe road,” Isyaku told news men.
He added that one suspect had been apprehended in connection to the consignment that was being transported to Kano from Sokoto and he would soon be prosecuted.
Clearing air on the fears that the 1,050 cartons of frozen fish worth over N20 million, seized and destroyed by the Command on September 6th 2014 in accordance with the stipulated laws, were based on the Ebola Virus Disease, Isyaku explained that the destruction was not associated to any particular disease.
“The destruction had generated panic in certain quarters, associating the fish to Ebola virus disease. I wish to use this medium to clarify the air that, by no means was that frozen fish associated to any disease.
“That fish was destroyed in that manner because that is what the law stipulates. The importer had completely contravened the entire requirements of fish importation, hence the destruction,” he explained.
In a related development, the Comptroller that in the last two weeks, the Command had seized 25 smuggled vehicles; intercepted two cartons of suspected indian hemp worth over N2 million (and handed over to the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Saying that officers of the NCS were now better positioned to face the business of smuggling, Isyaku warned those in the illicit act that no matter the tactics they employed to deceive men of the Customs, they cannot escape the eagle eyes of customs.
He added that the Command was working assiduously in its mandate to curtail smuggling of all kinds.
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