The Zone B of Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Kaduna, on Wednesday, said it had seized smuggled goods valued at over N1.05 billion in the last six months.
The Comptroller of the command, Mustafa Sarkin-Kebbi, said at a press briefing in Kaduna that the seizures were made between January and June 2019 within the command’s area of operation.
He said that the figure had doubled the seizures made within the same period in 2018, which was N504.1 million.
He said that 623 seizures were made within the period under review, which included 153 vehicles, 8,618 bags of foreign rice, 820 cartons of Spaghetti, 167 bags of sugar and 147 bales of second-hand clothings.
Others are 1,035 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 333 pieces of used tyres and 1,550 packs of tramadol.
Mr Sarkin-Kebbi disclosed that 14 suspects were apprehended during the period, with two convicted and four being prosecuted while investigation continues on the remaining suspects.
He attributed the increase in the DPV to the considerable increase in the seizures made which was 623 in the first half of the year, as against 312 within the same period in 2018.
“For the remaining half of the year, we are going to redouble our efforts and makes sure that we improve considerably,” he said.
Mr Sarkin-Kebbi advised smugglers to desist from the act and embrace lawful businesses.
“We will continue to ensure that they keep recording losses until they abandon the illegal trade.”
According to him, the command will continue to sensitise communities on the negative effects of smuggling to the country’s economy, including manufacturing and employment.
“It should not be only the customs, but other government agencies should also be enlightening the public about the ills of smuggling to the economy of this country,” he added.
He said smugglers are becoming deadly and sophisticated by the day, disclosing that the Command had lost some officers in Katsina and Kano.
Mr Sarkin-Kebbi, however, said that the Customs service was equal to the task and would not be cowed by smugglers, their informants and other collaborators.