NIGERIA - The Nigeria Customs Service, Seme-Badagry Command, have seized frozen smuggled poultry products valued at 4 million Nigerian Naira (N).
The confiscated products were destroyed in Seme by the customs officials, reported the Daily Independent Nigeria.
According to their spokesman, Ernest Olottah, the seizure was part of efforts to suppress smuggling at the country's borders.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the area, Ndalati Garba Mohammed, had directed increased enforcement at the border area, including various footpaths, to forestall attempts by desperate smugglers to evade duty and bring in prohibited items through unapproved routes.
According to Mr Olottah, this increased enforcement has resulted in various seizures and arrests: “Including this recent one comprising frozen turkey and chickens which falls under import prohibition.
“While some of the suspected smugglers escaped into the bush at night during the operation, our operatives arrested one of them and also seized a vehicle being used as a means of conveyance of the prohibited items.
“Today, we are destroying these poultry products in compliance with government directives and wish to use this opportunity to warn smugglers to desist from the anti-economic vice and face lawful trades.”
“The command has commenced investigations about those behind the smuggling act and get them to face the full wrath of the law. We are also on the lookout for any individual or group of persons that will dare our resolve by attempting to smuggle through Seme Border or any area within our coverage. We will never relent in arresting and prosecuting them in line with our enabling law.
“The command is still deploying persuasion and enforcement side by side as the CAC has kept the tempo of Customs Community Relations high in his attempt to dissuade members of the host and border business communities from smuggling while encouraging importers of dutiable goods to always pay duty," he added.
Mr Olottah said that import duty collections were increasing as more people begin to comply, so he said their persuasion strategy seems to be working. He added that enforcement agents are working around the clock to prevent smuggling, as well as providing the best service to those who comply with the law.
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