We Have Been Empowered to Spoil Business for Smugglers, Says Customs FOU Boss

FOU CAC, EJIBUNU

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By Francis Ugwoke
The Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ikeja, on Tuesday said it was determined to spoil business for those who have no regard for international trade regulations.
Announcing the seizure of 60 drums of premium motor spirit (PMS) which had been prepared to be smuggled to Cotonou before interception, the FOU Zone A Customs Controller, Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu, said the operatives of the Unit will continue to frustrate the activities of smugglers.
The 60 drums of PMS, Ejibunu disclosed were to be smuggled through Ayegun in Oyo to Cotonou before operatives of the FOU got hint of the illegality and moved swiftly to stop the smugglers.
He vowed that except those into smuggling retrace their steps, they will continue to suffer losses as his operatives will leave no stone unturned to stop them.
Ejibunu who spoke to members of the Executives of the League of Maritime Editors during a courtesy visit said that the Unit has mapped out strategies to be proactive in tackling the smugglers.
He disclosed that with the advent of drones, it will be easier for his operatives to track and identify the smugglers and render their activities useless.
He explained that this was because with the drones, the operatives will be able to monitor the locations where the smugglers are operating and go after them.
He said that the good thing for his Unit was that the Comptroller-General of the Customs Service, Retd Col. Hammid Ali and his management team have been full of support by equipping the operatives to achieve results in the fight against smuggling.
He said his Unit was given 21 units of patrol vehicles and an ambulance for operational purposes, adding that with such support, the fight against smugglers has been one of victory.
For instance, he disclosed that the warehouses for keeping seizures were right now filled up forcing the Unit to convert some offices to keep seized items.
He however said that a new warehouse being constructed by the Service will soon be ready to take care of thousands of seizures.
According to him, all these can only be possible because of the good support from the CGC and his management team.
He said,“He (CGC) reacts to our correspondence in good time, showing that we are in his heart. Members of the management also show great support. On our own, we must continue to justify the support they have for us by working harder and plugging the loopholes being created by smugglers by being a step above their antics “
The President of the League, Chief Timothy Okorocha had in his speech commended the Unit for the success they have recorded so far in the fight against smuggling.
Okorocha said his Association will continue to support the Customs Unit in the fight against smuggling by publicizing their activities.


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