Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) Sector 3 has said that it seized a large quantity of ammunition of 550 cartridges contained in 22 packs of 25 pieces each.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Wednesday, the coordinator of the JBPT Sector 3, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, said that the seizure was made around Benue axis of the sector, as a result of surveillance and determination of our operatives.
“Based on intelligence report, the sector intercepted a commercial bus around Y Junction, Adikpo in Benue state heading to Taraba state from Onitsha in Anambra state.
“On searching the vehicle, two black Bagco sacks found to contain pump action cartridges suspected to have been smuggled into the country.
“The ammunition, driver and the suspect were arrested immediately and brought to Sector 3 headquarters, Ilorin, Kwara state. After preliminary investigation, as the law of jurisdiction demands, they were all handed over to Nigeria Police Force, Benue state for further investigation.
“It might interest you to know that arms and ammunition is classified under schedule 4 of ABSOLUTE PROHIBITION LIST of the Common External Tariff of Nigeria Customs Service- HS Code 9306.
“This epic seizure is very commendable at the backdrop of the heightened insecurity in the country. Should 550 rounds of live ammunition escaped into the country and fall into wrong hands, the consequences will be devastating”.
The JBPT coordinator said that within the period under review, which is between August and December, the Sector also recorded 49 seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N29, 273,300.
1,251 Jeri cans of 25 liters each of PMS (31,273liters),
751 Bags of foreign par boiled Rice,
9 Used Vehicles,
550 live cartridges as earlier mentioned above,
7 Bales of second clothing,
1 Motorcycles used as a means of conveyance of PMS and also used as smuggling surveillance.
The Comptroller also warned those who want to use this yuletide period to make money by smuggling prohibited items to think twice, saying “our officers have continued to dominate the general area with aggressive patrols to deny smugglers freedom of action.
“The general public is thus encouraged to continue to provide credible information to the Sector operating within their localities.
“I want to assure Nigerians that Joint Border Patrol Team; Sector 3 will do all it takes to ensure that smuggling suffocates and in due course collapse.
“This can easily be achieved if host communities, youths, Community Leaders, Religious Leaders and the local dwellers stop seeing smuggling as a means of livelihood and equally stop conspiring or assisting the perpetrators of this heinous crime called smuggling. Section 77 (a to c) of Customs and Excise management Act is explicit on this.
“I want to appeal to border communities most especially youths to eschew from smuggling and stop confronting or obstructing operatives from carrying out their legitimate duties. Section 11 of CEMA frowns at this act.
“It is worth mentioning that the Federal Government has made significant strides to encourage local production of home grown rice through Anchor Borrowers Programme and Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.
“Therefore, all members of the public are encouraged to take advantage of Federal Government visible efforts on transforming the Agricultural sector and its efforts towards industrialization of the economy, not to sabotage the effort of Federal Government through smuggling and anyone found, will be sanctioned accordingly.
“I also want to appeal to the general public to embrace legitimate means of livelihood and to avoid smuggling of prohibited items that are inimical to attaining the vision of having a healthy and economically viable society. However, our resolve to deal with perpetrators and saboteurs of this agenda remains unshaken.
“It is on record that youths whom we refer to as leaders of tomorrow, who are supposed to support the policies and programmes of Federal Government, allow themselves to be used by unscrupulous element to attack or link tragedy or accident that befall road users to our operatives.