Customs intercepts truck smuggling goods through closed Nigeria-Niger border

Customs

Comptroller Oladeji flanked by officers of the Customs Joint Border Patrol Team, JBPT Sector 4, North-West Zone during briefing with Journalists in Kano on Thursday)

By Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano

A fully loaded truck trying to smuggle in thousands of cartons of Indonasian-made Giv Perfume Beauty Soap, through the closed Nigeria- Niger Republic border has been intercepted by the Customs Joint Border Patrol Team Sector 4, North-West Zone in Gumel, Jigawa State.

The Coordinator of Customs Joint Border Patrol Team, Sector 4, North-West Zone, Comptroller, Kolapo Oladeji, told journalists in Kano that the movement of the truck was not only economic sabotage but a security risk.

He said this was because the Niger-Nigeria border had been closed down as directed by the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Comptroller Oladeji said the owner of the seized goods contravened Sections 245 and 248 of the Nigeria Customs Act (2023), by engaging in the smuggling of contraband goods.

He therefore warned Nigerians to avoid movement of goods and humans, even animals through Nigeria-Niger border routes.

He said any movement of goods and services whether legitimate or illicit through the Nigeria-Niger border routes is prohibited, following ECOWAS order.

‘As you all know, the entire border of Nigeria-Niger Republic is closed. So, when we see anything on that route, we pick it. You don’t have to pass through that border, whether you are carrying contraband or legitimate goods,’ he added.

According to him, the truck was intercepted and arrested, where it was abandoned under a tree at Danladi Primary School, Gumel, Jigawa State.

According to him, his team trailed the truck from the Niger border routes to the point of abandonment, following credible intelligence gathering.

He said his men have spread their dragnets on the lookout of the owner of the contraband goods, insisting that he will surely face the full wrath of the law.

Comptroller Oladeji also frowned at the activities of smugglers who bring in sub-standard and contraband goods into the country, at the detriment of the Naira stability and as well, dwindling the fortunes of local manufacturers.

He also cautioned residents of border communities against aiding and abating the activities of smugglers, who according to him, have resorted to using motorcycles, wheelbarrows, camels and small trucks, to ferry their illicit goods into Nigeria from the border communities, through the bush parts.

“This foreign soap is prohibited. It is a prohibited item in Nigeria. It was made in Indonesia. This is economic sabotage. This set of people don’t wish us well in Nigeria. Who knows the kind of chemical they used in manufacturing this sub-standard soap? We have soap industries here in Nigeria that do far more better than them.

“Now, the smuggler is on the run. We are on his trail. We are looking for him to come and face the full wrath of the law. Now, he has no peace and he is going to lose this goods worth millions of Naira.

“We are urging all those who engage in smuggling and other unpatriotic businesses to desist. They should engage themselves with legal businesses that will not only give them rest of mind, but make our country a better place,” Comptroller Oladeji admonished smugglers.

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