The Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has impounded more than 5,400 cartons of poultry products illegally imported into the country, an official said.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the command, Mr Uche Ejesieme, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that the products were seized in the last two weeks.
“The Federal Government in its wisdom had to place these things on ban because the effect on the economy and on the health of our people cannot be quantified.
“When this circular came from the headquarters on zero tolerance on importation of poultry products which is aimed at protecting the local farmers from the menace of these very unpatriotic Nigerians, and some other people that collude with them, we took it very seriously.
“And like the Controller will always tell you, ours is to continue to up the ante in our exploits in anti-smuggling, to ensure that we also remain on top of our situation. ”
Ejesieme said the command seized 267 cartons of poultry products valued at N107.21 million in June, while in May, some 199 cartons of the product worth N100.29 million were also confiscated.
He said the number of arrested suspected smugglers declined to eight in June down from 38 arrest made in May.
Ejesieme attributed the decline in the number of apprehended suspects to the increasing surveillance by customs.
“We have employed intelligence gathering as part of our strategies and also the use of risk profiling is part of it; that is why we have achieved this remarkable result.
“The problem is most times what you normally see is that as soon as you apprehend these people, you discover that it is only the motor boys you will see in most cases. That is why in May, we had 38 suspects; in June we had just eight
“The law is always taking its course on them because at the end of the day, we charge them to court; the legal department will arraign the suspects in court to tidy it up.”
He attributed the increase in the number of seizures to constant capacity development of the officers and the re-equipping of the command.