Customs seize drones, explosives, others

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The Nigeria Customs Service says it has handed over to the Nigerian Army and the police about 679 pieces of drones, 638 packages of military hardware and military uniforms and 35 packages of explosives.

The Area Comptroller of the Mohammed International Airport Cargo wing of the NCS, S. K. Dangaladima, disclosed this when the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise, led by its Chairman, Leke Abejide, visited the command as part of its oversight.

The Nation reports that the comptroller said the service also handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency about 214 package of tramadol, another 500,000 tablets of tramadol, 85 packages of dry khat leaves seized during its operation at the airport.

Responding to questions on whether those behind the importation of the seized items have been arrested, he said, “Some of these people use fake addresses and when their container is seized, they disappear and will never come for it.

“We intercept these things mainly based on intelligence from the World Customs Organisation and other sister bodies. However, let me say that tramadol is not totally banned. You can import the 100mg. Once it is above that, it will not be acceptable and those are the ones we confiscate.”

At the Federal Operations Unit, the Area Comptroller, Zone A, Kehinde Ejibunu, said the command lost about four officers to smugglers in 2021, while several others are occasionally attacked in border communities.

Ejubunu also said that in 2021, about 751 cartridges concealed in cassava bags were seized in addition to several volumes of foreign rice, used cars, frozen chickens, used fridges among others.

Chairman of the committee, Rep. Leke Abejide, lamented the increasing level of smuggling of petroleum products out of the country leading to high cost of subsidy being paid by the government.

Abejide said: “When I look at the number of litres of PMS being smuggled out of this country, I see why we are paying huge sums of money as subsidy. It also explains why people now concentrate on smuggling petrol out of the country”.

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