Nigeria Customs Service, Western Marine Command, Lagos, has disclosed that it seized 81 different items from January to December, 2020 with Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) One Billion, One Hundred and Four Million, Six Hundred and Forty Seven Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Naira (N1, 104,647,370.00) only as against the Total DPV of One Hundred and Twenty Nine Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Six Naira, Forty Six Kobo (#129, 559,656.46) only in the Year 2019.
The Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos while reviewing the activities of the command in 2020.
Comptroller Olugboyega Peters noted that seizures were unprecedented seizures and were achieved as a result of the strategies which included 24hour patrol, capacity building, surveillance, intelligence gathering, doggedness and determination of operatives in making the zone unbearable for smugglers.
“I want to use this medium to appreciate the efforts of other sister agencies for their contributions in providing relevant information in making some of these seizures.
“The command had on the 24th April 2020 made a unique seizure of over 10tonnes of Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana) valued at One Billion, Two Million, Fifty Thousand Naira (#1, 002,050,000.00) only which happened to be the biggest single item catch of Marijuana ever seized in the history of Nigeria Customs Service.
“This feat has received national and international commendations; the Comptroller General of Customs on behalf of the Management recognised the outstanding performance of the Officers/Men involved in the seizure with commendation letters. Also, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) has recognised the Command and they are about to install a Video TeleConferencing (VTC) Cisco WebEx equipment that will aid our operations in the maritime industry. The equipment is funded under the auspices of the Government of Denmark aimed at strengthening maritime law enforcement response to piracy and other maritime crimes in the gulf of guinea.
“These seizures are strong indication that the operatives of the Command are combat-ready in policing and enforcing the Federal Government Fiscal Policies despite the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic,” noted Peters.
Peters however assured the customs authority that the officers/men under his leadership would perform their statutory responsibilities in line with the policy thrust of the present administration of zero tolerance to corruption and other vices.
Peters warned smugglers to desist, saying “there is no hidden place for them and whatever their strategy, we will always be ahead of them.”
He enjoined the patriotic citizens to continue with their legitimate business in accordance with the extant laws as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).