The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone C, Owerri, has impounded a Peugeot Boxer bus fully loaded with over 131 sacks of cannabis sativa popularly known as Indian Hemp estimated at N5, 566,500.
Also seized were 15 exotic cars secretly smuggled into the country through the bush path as well as 808, 50kg bags of foreign rice, all impounded by the Benin mobile patrol unit. Also, four suspects had been arrested in connection with the seizures.
Showcasing the cannabis sativa intercepted and arrested at about 2am by the Benin mobile patrol officers and men of the establishment at the Customs warehouses in Aduwawa, Benin, the Customs Area Comptroller, Kayode Olusemire, stressed that the driver of the bus, moved during the wee hours of the night to beat the vigilant operatives of the establishment.
“But luck ran against the driver when he tried to evade the operatives and was pursued, intercepted and arrested by the custom operatives along the Benin axis of the unit”.
He explained that the federal government had banned the seized item sequel to its dangerous health implications.
The Unit Area Comptroller put the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the smuggled expensive cars at N137, 330, 148 just as the imported bags of foreign rice bore a DPV of N35,042,720.
According to Olusemire, the smugglers had cleverly concealed the bags of rice with cartons of beer and Lucozade boost/Ribena loaded in a heavy-duty truck to beat customs’ checkpoints on the roads.
He listed the state of the art cars seized to include: a Volvo C90 (2017 model), Range Rover HSE (2013 model), Toyota Highlander (2016
model), Toyota Camry (2010 Model) Mercedes Benz ML350 (2014 model) and
a Toyota Hilux (2015 model).
Others were Toyota Tundra (2007 Model), Toyota Tacoma (2017 Model) as
well as a Donge Ram (2016 model) all bearing an overall APV of N140million naira.
The Unit Area Comptroller, Olusemire, attributing the increasing wave of
criminal activities in the society to the unbridled planting, selling and consumption of hard drugs by unscrupulous elements, warned those engrossed in the act to desist forthwith or be prepared to face the
music if apprehended.
His words, “many youths have gone insane because of the smoking of Indian hemp. It is a dangerous habit, which is inimical to health.
Many of them do fanfare with it now to the extent that they do not hide in smoking it again. They are usually seen during burial or wake ceremonies, indirectly legalising it themselves.
I appeal that the agencies involved should deal decisively with anyone caught smoking Indian hemp,” Olusemire added.
The Customs Unit Area Comptroller said that, it was criminal of Nigerians to smuggle vehicles into the country through the bush just to evade payment of duties on such vehicles, stressing that importation of such vehicles should be made through the seaports and duties paid in the interest of the nation’s economy.
He explained that the NCS is now better equipped, trained and motivated to fish out smugglers irrespective of the tactics they
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