Customs Boss Wants Death Penalty For Smugglers

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Comptroller-General of Customs, Colonel Hamid Ali (rtd)
By; VICTOR DURUAMAKU, Owerri

Going by the unrepentant activities of smugglers who bring into the country prohibited goods, the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) has resolved to ensure that any smuggler caught bringing into the country prohibited goods, faces death sentence.

According to the custom boss, Comptroller Kayode Olusemire, the service
took this decision following the devastating effects of smuggling on
the Nigerian economy.

He noted that some smugglers on sighting Customs check point on the
highways usually open fire on them to get away with their goods,
warning that such die-hard smugglers if arrested would henceforth face
capital punishment.

The Unit Area Controller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone “C”
Owerri Comptroller Kayode Olusemire who dropped the hint added that
“smuggling of such products apart from stifling the growth and
sustenance of local industries, also deals a devastating blow on the
nation’s economy while promoting crime and criminality in the
country”.

The custom boss spoke at the Benin and Abia/Imo Command premises of
the service during which he displayed sundry banned products smuggled
into the country by desperate smugglers.

Among the displayed items smuggled into the country are, assorted
state of the art cars comprising 4 Mercedes Benz, 4matic cars of
various models with DPVs, Ford ENDAE Range Rover Evogue (2013 model
and Toyota Venza (2010) model all bearing a total DPV of N162,100,000,
one hundred and sixty two million, one hundred thousand naira, one
million, five hundred and seventy two bags of 50 kg foreign rice with
a DPV of N31 million.

Others were: 25 wraps of cannabis sativa with a DPV of N300,000, fake
pharmaceutical drugs with a DPV of N33,440.000, pieces of used tyres
and compressors, 112 bales of second hand clothing, cartons of codeine
and tramadol, spirit, beer, 96 pieces of steel doors, vegetable oil,
mushroom sauce, noodles and spices among others.

According to Olusemire, while some of the smuggled bags of rice had
been in the silos for 5 to 6 years before coming into the country,
others were criminally concealed in GP tanks by the smugglers to beat
Customs security check points on the roads.

He however assured, that the NCS are battle ready for smugglers
because, “we are now better equipped, trained and re-trained,
mobilized and motivated and so with our ingenuity, we were able to
arrest them”.

According to him, 6 suspects were arrested in connection with the
seizures and had been granted administrative bail to be followed with
judicial process.

He advised those engrossed in the smuggling of foreign rice to desist
from this and to embrace local production of the commodity, stressing
that the federal government is prepared to assist them to utilize the
nation’s vast acres of land for the production of various species.

“We have vast acres of land for agricultural purposes and people can
obtain loan and use them to produce rice locally”

The Customs Unit Area Controller also made it clear that importation
of cars through the nation’s land boarders runs contrary to the laws
stating that cars are only allowed into the country through the
nation’s seaports for proper documentation.

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