The Federal Operations Unit, Zone C of the Nigeria Customs Service, has intercepted raw materials for the production of explosive devices, cannabis sativa, and other contrabands with a duty-paid value of N1.6bn between July and September.
The acting Customs Area Controller in charge of the zone, Kayode Kolade, said this while addressing journalists at the government warehouse, in Benin City, Edo State capital.
According to a statement on Monday by the Public Relations Officer of the zone, Jerry Attah, the acting Area Controller also said that within the period under review, nine suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.
Kolade, who frowned on the spate of smuggling in the zone, said that the sum of N54.2m was also recovered by the zone from demand notices, making a cumulative sum of N1.6bn.
“Other contrabands seized included, 417 sacks of cannabis sativa also known as Indian hemp weighing 9,194kg and 627 compressed parcels of the same Indian hemp 1kg each totalling 627kg, nine sacks of explosives’ raw materials (fertilizer, device cables, and Superpower90 chemicals) 50kg each, 1,329 bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice 50kg each, five cartons of DSP cough syrup with codeine 100mg in 1,000 bottles.
“Others are one of armored bullion van, 761 jumbo bales of second-hand clothing, 883 cartons of various unregistered/expired medicaments including tramadol, 100 cartons of various wines, 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tires, 335 cartons of smuggled foreign tomato paste, 300 cartons of foreign spaghetti, among others.”
The area controller said that the contrabands were intercepted at different locations under the jurisdiction of the zone.
He added, “Based on prompt intelligence and sting operation, the bags of rice were intercepted along Calabar/Akwa Ibom axis and Okada/Benin Expressway, the 417 sacks and 627 parcels of Indian hemp were intercepted at Okada-Benin and Ewu-Auchi Expressway respectively.
“Seven hundred and sixty-one jumbo bales of used clothing mostly concealed in trucks and buses were intercepted along Umeikaa/Aba Road and Okada-Benin road.” he explained.
“The five cartons of DSP cough syrup with codeine, and 883 cartons of unregistered medicaments were intercepted along Benin/Asaba/Onitsha Expressway while the armoured bullion van without Customs documents and end users certificate was intercepted along Okada/Benin Expressway.
“One hundred cartons of wine and 335 tomato paste were intercepted along the Ewu/Ibilo axis, and 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tires were also intercepted along Cross River waterside and Okada-Benin Expressway,” he said.
He expressed worry over the smuggling of explosives, adding that the country had continued to grapple with the challenges associated with insecurity.
Kolade warned smugglers to desist forthwith in the interest of humanity or have the law to contend with.