By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
Worth N15.879 million bags of rice, cannabis and second hand clothings have been intercepted in separate operations by the Sokoto Area Command of the Nigeria Customs(NCS) according to the Area Comptroller, Mr Gimba Baba Umar.
Giving a breakdown of the seized items while addressing newsmen which include; 536 bags of smuggled foreign rice valued N10.093 million, 320 kilo grammes of cannabis worth N3.2 million, 45 bales of second hand clothes and 34 bags of Sugar worth N2.025 million and N561,000 respectively, Umar said some of the imported rice were intercepted along Kamba, Illela and Gusau road as a result of collaboration with other security agencies.
He said the command had already handed the seized cannabis to the representative of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further action.
In the same vein, Umar explained that the seized cannabis intercepted along Kamba axis after engaging some youths who attempted to resist the operations.
” We eventually overwhelmed then but not without skirmishes between his men and some youth in the area.
“The driver of the vehicle conveying the cannabis made a detour on sighting our patrol team which arouse suspicion ,thus gave him a hot chase.
“He drove into an uncompleted building, abandoned the car and ran to mobilze some youth against my men who were only few in number. They attempted to attack our team but for the quick intervention of the police,” he said
According to him, “when our men searched the vehicle (Volkswagen Golf car) they discovered Indian helm concealed in 320 percels of one kilo gramme each.
The Customs top official also confirmed that investigation was ongoing to unravel those directly involved in the activity, adding that” we are carrying out a thorough investigation and the perpetrators would soon be brought to book.”
However, the command assured of its readiness to sustain its commitment to maintain the tempo through routine operational and patrol strategies against changing methods of smuggling activities inorder to nip them in the bud.
” It is a serious act of economic sabotage with negative consequence to the nation’s revenue generation capacity. which we will continue to pursue for more income as well as ensure a smuggling free country and inline with other mandates of the service”, he vowed.