June 19, 2024

Customs FOU Zone ‘B’ Intercept Donkey Bones,Tramadol, Others worth N3.17bn In One Month

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Customs FOU Zone ‘B’ Intercept Donkey Bones,Tramadol, Others worth N3.17bn In One Month

…recovers, illicit drugs worth N167m

By Okezie Nnadi

The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ ably led by Controller Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu has repeatedly clamped down illegal traders of endangered wildlife Species between April and May, 2024.

Making this public in Kaduna, Controller Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu stressed the importance of stamping out this illegal trade in Donkies dead or alive and other endangered species of wildlife.
“It is of great importance to showcase the interception of the illegal products of donkey perpetrated by some unscrupulous elements with no regard for the lives and preservation of endangered species like the donkey which is near extinction.
It is therefore with a personal sense of sadness to announce that our officers and men on two separate occasions, impounded consignments of donkey bones and donkey meat, respectively, with a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of about Three Billion Naira.”

Compt. Shuaibu narrated that on the April 25, 2024, operatives of the Unit acting on credible intelligence intercepted 1 Truck with Registration Number GGE 526 XL along Sokoto/Gusau Road in Zamfara State conveying illicit goods which were brought to Kaduna for further examination.
Upon careful examination the truck was discovered to be conveying 750 sacks of donkey bones. The DPV for the donkey bones was estimated at Two Billion, Three Hundred and Sixty Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N2, 363,500,000.00) only.

It was confirmed that 1 suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure.

Again on May 5, 2024 at about 0310hrs, the operatives of the Unit intercepted 2 Canter Trucks carrying Dried Donkey Meat along Kontagora – Tegina Road in Niger State. After 100% physical examination the trucks were found to contain 860 sacks of Dried Donkey meat. 3 suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.

Condemning this Illicit trade, he said, “the above illegal trading clearly contravene Section 55 (1) paragraph c and i (1) of the NCS Act 2023 which says that “Import and Exports shall where applicable be subject to prohibitions and restrictions relating to:
(c) The protection of the health and life of humans, animals, or plants;
(i) Controlled goods imported or exported in line with relevant International laws, conventions and agreements (1) relevant International laws, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).”

He added,”Government is concerned that donkeys are part of rare animals that are being driven towards extinction by activities of unscrupulous elements, and Nigeria is signatory to the international convention for the continued prevention of endangering these species.
Therefore, the Unit and indeed the Nigeria Customs Service will not and cannot fold its hand and allow this illegal trade to continue to take place. ”

Continuing, Shuaibu also condemned the continued Smuggling and trade in illicit and prohibited drugs. His words, “Another concern is the seizure of 58,740 sachets of tramadol and 48,000 ampules of Anelgin injection that was arrested by the operatives of the Unit on the 2nd of May 2024 at about 1130hrs along Saminaka/Nimbiya/Kafanchan axis of Kaduna state. These illicit drugs were neatly concealed with motor spare parts but our eagle eye was able to catch up with them. The DPV of these illicit drugs is One Hundred and Sixty-Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N167,500.00) only.

Other items intercepted by the Unit within the period under review include the following:
12 vehicles (means of conveyance)
174 Bags of Foreign Rice (50 kg each)
234 Jerry cans of PMS (25 litres each)
109 bales of second hand clothing
367 cartons of Spaghetti
50 cartons of Macaroni
47 Jerry cans of foreign vegetable oil
Other items arrested are:
6 sacks of used shoes
100 sacks of snuff
30 bags of foreign sugar (25kg each)
2,255 cartons of herbicide chemical
10 cartons of foreign couscous
235 Bags of Foreign flour (25kg each) and
Over 100 cartons of general goods.

The total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized items is Three Billion, One Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Eighty Four Thousand Naira, Two Hundred and Seventeen Naira and Seventy-Five Kobo (N 3,175,084,217.75) only.

Commending his officers, he says, “Let me at this point say that the officers and men of the Unit are focused, committed and prepared to continue to carry out their assignments with utmost sense of courtesy and unwavering professionalism.
The success we are showcasing today is therefore a demonstration of our collective determination to continue to carry out our duty with undivided attention, and without fear or favour. Those who wish to try our resolve should have a rethink as we shall be unsparing in implementing the laws and policy directives of the Federal Government as directed by the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR and his management team.
Anti-smuggling initiative is fast going beyond old traditional physical measures, the NCS has sharpened its skill in intelligence gathering through improved information technology kits. The era of exclusively mounting checkpoint is long gone, as our Enforcement Unit are up to date in the deployment of ICT assisted intelligence gathering and strategies to achieve our mandate.”

On the impersonation arrest made in Sokoto, Shuaibu said, “Let me use this medium to update the general public about the suspect arrested for impersonation in Sokoto, the law has taken its course on him. I want to specially appreciate the leadership of the Sokoto/Zamfara Area Command of the Service and the Customs Police Unit for their continued efforts in assisting the Unit to take the Service to greater height.

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