Men of the Ogun Command of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has intercepted expired imported Croaker fish, loaded in two buses from the creeks at Idi-Iroko, the border between Nigeria and Republic of Benin. The Command also seized a Mercedes Benz 2015 model S550, a Toyota Corolla 2009 model, Volvo truck and 483 bags of foreign rice along the creeks in Ipokia community, within the border area, with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N37.2million.
The enforcement officers made these seizures only weeks, after they intercepted a 20 feet truck load of expired fish and rice, smuggled into the country through the border. It was observed that some of the boats used by smugglers are locally constructed with engines attached to them, to enable free movement within the creeks.
Also, within the border region, movement at the creeks is very tasking because of the difficult terrain, but the boats used by smugglers are of smaller sizes and specially constructed to enable them pass through the difficult terrain unhindered.
The new Customs Area Controller, CAC, of the Command, Comptroller Sani Madugu, disclosed this while displaying the items in the open, at the Command, reiterating that rice and vehicles are under restriction from being imported through land borders. “In accordance with government’s policy, the goods have been seized and must be destroyed accordingly.
Fish products are under regulated items in Nigeria with specific guidelines, which every fish importer must fulfill before bringing in the products. These include license from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and such importation must be subjected to inspection by National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) “, he stressed.
Madugu further revealed that his Command has moved its anti-smuggling operations to the creeks, even as they have mapped out new strategies to curtail illicit border trades within the creeks of Idi-Iroko. He said, “We have uncovered a new trend of smuggling prohibited items into the country through the creeks at Idi-Iroko border.