By Silas Onuoha
The new Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Seme Border Command, Compt Dera Nnadi mni, has made the Service proud with outstanding seizure of $6million, which is equivalent to N2.763billion.
Compt Nnadi mni, displayed loyalty and integrity in public service, as he boldly rejected $250,000 kickback offered by the offenders and confiscated the foreign currency discovered to be fake notes.
Compt Nnadi and his team did not only seize the fake currency notes, they equally arrested two culprits conveying the money from Nigeria to Republic of Benin.
Addressing Journalists during a press conference, Compt Nnadi, who assumed office as the new CAC of Seme Command only 13 days ago informed; “In the last 13 days, the Command recorded milestones in its anti-smuggling operations. Some of the anti-smuggling landmarks by the Command include seizure of fake $6m (Six Million) USD (equivalent to N2.763billion, at exchange rate of N460.52 ).
“We arrested two suspects conveying the fake currency from Nigeria to Republic of Benin. Two male suspects were arrested in connection with the crime and are currently in our custody pending prosecution.
“The arrest was made at Gbaji checkpoint, along Seme corridor on the 31 of January, 2023.”
He went on; “Also on the 31 of January, 2023, at a about 0530 hours, Officer on patrol along Gbetrome base intercepted Six Maltese International Passports with the same picture of a lady but bearing different names, two Senegalese International Passports ,three Togolese International Passports, four Republic of Benin International Passports, one Republic of Niger International Passport and 10 International Drivers’ Licenses of these various countries from two male suspects, who are also in our custody pending further investigation.
“The Command also seized 1,300 by 30 litres jerrycans of PMS equivalent to 39,000 litres, over one fuel tanker of PMS with duty paid value of N9, 366,45 only. The products were seized from along the creeks”.
The CAC continued:
“Other items seized include 55 sacks containing 550 pieces of donkey skin with DPV OF N11,371,511. The significant of this sizure is that it shows how much our endanger speices are being eroded by unpatriotic elements.”
The CAC stressed :
“These achievements so far were not made on a platter of gold. It took the painstaking efforts of officers who spend hours on patrol and surveillance to record the seizures. We wish to reiterate that we will not relent on this effort.
“The Command will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitise and educate the public on socio-economic implications of smuggling, as well as performing statutory functions of enforcing compliance in line with government fiscal policies.”
Compt Nnadi expressed strong displeasure on illicit trade within the border communities, advising the youths to support government policies on economic growth by engaging in legitimate businesses.
“Permit me to once more use this opportunity to appeal to parents and guardians residing in the border communities to prevail on their youths, to desist from criminal act of smuggling.
“During my courtesy visit to traditional rulers in various communities at Seme- Badagry axis, I sought for their support in combating smuggling and urged them to educate their subjects on the menace of smuggling and the need to support security operatives discharging their statutory duties.
“It is gratifying to note that we are all on the same page, on the need to improve on our relationship with a view to maximising the opportunities offered by the proximity of the State to the border and develop trade in Lagos State”.
His words; “Let me appreciate the collaborative efforts of other sister agencies in the fight against smuggling and appeal for their continuous support. It is important to note that activities embarked upon by the Command are patriotic duty in the interest of national security and economic wellbeing of Nigeria.
“Customs operatives in observance of the rules of engagement will continue to carry out legitimate duties as prescribed by the law.
“We thank the CGC and management of Customs, officers and men of the Command, community leaders and partner government agencies showing concern and collaborating with the Service for their continuous support. We also thank and appreciate the Press for being objective in reporting the challenges faced by Officers while executing their duty.”