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Border Closure: Customs seizes N500m goods in Kwara

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The Nigeria Customs Service says it has seized goods worth over N500 million from smugglers across the borders in Kwara from Aug. 20, 2019, to date.

Mr Mohammed Garba, the Joint Border Operation Drill Coordinator in Charge of North Central States, Sector 3 Ilorin, announced this at a news conference on the seizure of contrabands on Thursday in Ilorin.

The coordinator said that the Sector 3 intensified effort had led to evidential records of seizure.

The seizures include 12 trailers of rice, 52 different types of used vehicles and other vehicles used for conveying contraband goods with Duty Paid Value (DPV).

“During the period under review, 204 illegal migrants were repatriated.

“They include 100 Nigerians, three Malians and two Chinese.

“We have so far recorded 124 seizures with total DPV of N568,763,380,” he said.

The comptroller said that the Federal Government on Aug. 20, 2019, partially closed all land borders for the betterment of the nation’s economy, the security of citizens and for our neighbouring countries to abide by ECOWAS Protocols.

“Part of our mandate is to stop fuel supply to 20 kilometres radius to border communities, the mandate which we will implement to latter,’’ he said.

The coordinator also recalled that the Speaker, Kwara House of Assembly, paid a courtesy visit to his office on the scarcity of fuel being experienced at the border Communities.

“We promised to visit all the affected border communities.

“We visited and sensitised the border communities, traditional rulers, rural dwellers, IPMAN and other critical stakeholders on the benefits of the border closure.’’

Garba said that during the visit, only three trucks carrying petroleum products were found to have genuine documents and did not operate within 20 kilometres radius.

“They were unconditionally released to the owners.

“We want to re-echo this for the umpteenth time that the border closure is not targeted at any individual, group of persons or any community but for the protection of the nation’s economy.

“The current Customs administration, under the able leadership of Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and his management team, has zero-tolerance for corruption,’’ Garba said.

He said that smuggling was a crime and that the Customs would continue to treat those who engage in it as criminals.

“We will continue to police our area of operations in line with the federal government directives on the partial closure of our national borders,’’ he said.

Edited by: Abdulfatah Babatunde/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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