Joint border operation identifies notorious smuggling areas in North Central
Joint Border Operations Drill (JBOD) Sector 3 has identified notorious border communities reputed for smuggling activities in the North Central geopolitical zone of the country.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Thursday, the new coordinator of the operation, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, said that such places as Kaiama, Chikanda, Okuta, Ilesha-Baruba and Airport road, Ilorin in Kwara State are among areas where smuggling activities had thrived over the years.
The Customs boss, whose areas of operation covered Kwara, Kogi, Niger and Benue, also said that Kontagora and Babanna in Niger State are also included.
The coordinator, who called for more support from community leaders and traditional rulers, including the business community, said that the joint border patrol operations needed useful information and support of people to tackle increasing rate of smuggling activities at border towns.
"Smugglers live among people in the border communities. People around know them. Officers of joint border patrol are no witches or extra human beings to know and identify these economic saboteurs. We need more support, cooperation, quality and useful information from people to work on and tackle activities of smugglers," he said.
The coordinator also said that the JBOD seized a total sum of N53.158 million worth of goods from smugglers in five weeks.
He said that part of strategies deployed against all forms of smuggling, human trafficking and proliferation of arms and ammunition led to 65 seizures of different items.
Comptroller Peters, who assumed office on October 12, 2020, said his team made some seizures such as four single-barrel rifles, 1,643 bags of foreign rice, 373 Jerri cans of PMS of 25 litres, 12 Jerri cans of AGO, 32 used vehicles, four bales of second-hand clothing, a motorcycle, adding that a suspect was arrested.
"We shall continue to wage war against smugglers, as every effort or tactic exhibited by them to beat security checks operatives will remain fruitless
"Smugglers will be uncovered due to our high level of intelligence, systematic monitoring and mechanism put in place to track down these economic saboteurs and their sponsors," he said.
Compt. Peters said that the current administration has zero-tolerance for corruption and revenue leakages in all its ramifications, and the sector would continue to re-invigorate strategies that will enhance performance.
Speaking on the attack by #EndSARS protesters on Custom House, Kwara command, the Coordinator commended the effort of Nigeria Customs Service, JBOD and all sister security agencies for exhibiting their professionalism in handling the incident.
He said that the aftermath of #EndSARS protest was a commendation letter sent to the command by the Comptroller General of Customs and his able management team for exhibiting such gallantry, in terms of excellent performance, integrity, high ethical standard, good conduct and unalloyed commitment to the service.
The Comptroller appealed to Nigerians, especially members of the business communities to assume the duty of border drill as an opportunity to further create a conducive environment for local business.
He said that the exercise was for the overall interest of national security, well being of the citizen and economic development, including the creation of job opportunities, reduction of crime rate and other social vices.