The Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area Command, seized $6 million in counterfeit US dollars as well as other prohibited items.
During a press conference on Thursday in Seme, Lagos, the command’s Area Controller, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, informed the media of this.
He added that four alleged cross-border criminal syndicate members had been detained.
Nnadi reported that the command’s anti-smuggling operations had reached milestones over the previous 13 days.
“Some of the anti-smuggling landmarks by the command include the seizure of fake $6m equivalent of N2.763 billion and the arrest of two suspects conveying the fake currency from Nigeria to the 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 the Seme corridor on Jan.31, 2023.
“Also, on the same day, at a about 05:30 a.m., our men on patrol along Gbethrome base intercepted six Maltese International Passports with the same picture of a lady but bearing different names,” he said.
He added that Senegalese, Togolese, Republic of Benin and Niger International Passports were also recovered alongside 1O international driving licence of various countries from two male suspects currently in custody for further investigation.
Nnadi said that the command also seized 1,300 by 30 litres Jerry can of petroleum equivalent to 39,000 litres with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N9,366,350.
According to the controller, the products were seized along the creeks.
“Other items seized include 55 sacks containing 550 pieces of donkey skin with DPV of N11,371,511 only.
“The significant of the seizure is that it shows how much our endanger speices are being eroded by unpatriotic elements.
“These achievements so far, were not made on a platter of gold, it took the painstaking efforts of the officers who spend hours on patrol and surveillance to record the seizures,” he said.
He, however, said that the major source of revenue of the command which is import and export had not been enhanced since the opening of the land borders as directed by the Federal Government.
Nnadi said that some traders were still bracing with the challenges of having been out of business for over two years.
He said the command would continue to engage and sensitise the public on socio-economic implication of smuggling as well as performing statutory function of enforcing compliance in line with government fiscal policies.
The controller commended the collaborative efforts of other sister agencies in the fight against smuggling and appealed for sustained support. (NAN)
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