The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, Friday in Owerri displayed contraband worth over N226.5 million it seized from smugglers in March.
Controller of the unit, Mr. Victor Dimka, said the contraband were intercepted at various locations within the South-South and South-Eastern states.
Dimka said the NCS had beefed up its operations and surveillance against smugglers, saying that smuggling was a threat to the nation’s economic growth.
He said: “The Federal Government is doing everything possible to see that more people are employed; the youths have no reason to engage in smuggling.”
“The war against smuggling is now stiffer than ever before. We will not rest on our oars until we rid this zone of smugglers,” he said.
Dimka said that innovative strategies and the use of modern technology would be employed in the fight to rid the nation of smugglers.
“There is high level government intervention going on to equip the Anti-Smuggling Squad of this unit to do the jobs better.
“My mandate is to personally lead the onslaught against this cankerworm called smuggling that ruins our economy, “ he said.
Dimka said that nine smugglers caught by his men had been charged to court, while their seized items would soon be up for auction to members of the public.
The seized items according to the Comptroller include 230 bales of second hand clothes, 15 bales of second handbags and two bales of second hand belts seized along Aba/Elele axis.
Also displayed were 3363 cartons of imported frozen chicken which ordinarily would earn Nigeria N32.9 million in duty and 30 bales of second hand clothes concealed in a haulage truck.
About 200 cartons of imported frozen turkey and chicken were impounded along Calabar axis, while 911 bales of second hand clothes were seized along Aba/Eleme Road.
Also impounded were 300 pieces of used tyres, 56 pieces of used compressors, 210 pieces of second hand tyres and 190 pairs of used footwear.