The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Katsina Area Command says in January 2022 alone, it seized from smugglers over a trailer load of foreign rice and other contraband goods worth N69.6 million in Katsina.
The Area Comptroller, DC Dalha Wada Chedi, disclosed this to newsmen on Thursday during its monthly community consultation forum, where it showcased the achievements of the Command.
Chedi, referring to the large quantity of rice smuggled into the country in the month of January alone, admitted that “much still needs to be done to suppress the activities of smugglers in the State.”
According to him, “the monthly consultative forum is aimed at sensitizing the public first on customs anti-smuggling activities and we wish it would serve as a deterrent to the smugglers and to those who are planning to venture into it.”
He called on members of the public to desist from smuggling activities, noting that “there are several viable alternative ventures and incentives provided by the government that will cause people in the State to thrive without engaging in the illegal smuggling activities.”
On what they do with seized items, Chedi said, “we take them to court, from there it will be condemned and we will wait for orders to auction them or send them to IDP’s.”
While lamenting the activities of smugglers in the State, he said, “look at these goods worth about N70 million which could have been saved, now gone to waste. What is the gain? The smugglers always end up losing. But they will still go back, loan money somewhere or even sell their properties and come back to smuggling, still, we will catch them and they will lose everything because no matter how tricky a smuggler is, we will surely get at them since we have been provided with all that we need to operate properly.”
The items seized in January include: 10 vehicles worth N24.2 million, 629 bags of rice worth N15.9 million, 826 cartons of spaghetti worth N4.96 million, 110 jerry cans of 25 litres of vegetable oil worth N2.8 million, 96 cartons of foreign milky worth N2.02 million, 46 cartons of foreign Ginny Milk worth N1.012 million, 79 cartons of foreign macaroni worth N474,000.00, 15 pieces of super cereal corn-soya blend worth N47,250
Others are 338 jerry cans of PMS worth N1.4 million, 50 bale of second hand clothing worth N7.2 million, 8 bales of new blanket worth N4.8 million and 235 pieces of foreign jack knives worth N775,500.