In Adikpo Junction, Benue State, the Nigeria Customs Service’s Joint Border Patrol Team Sector 3, North Central zone, intercepted 550 Pump Action cartridges.
Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, the JBPT Coordinator, announced this at a news conference held at the Sector Headquarters in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Wednesday.
He said, “Based on intelligence report, the sector intercepted a commercial J5 Bus around Adikpo Junction in Benue State heading to Taraba State. On searching the vehicle, two black Bacco sacks were found to contain pump action cartridges suspected to be smuggled into the country”.
He added that “The ammunition, driver and the suspect were arrested immediately and brought to Sector 3 Headquarters, Ilorin, Kwara State and after preliminary investigation, as the law of jurisdiction demands, they were all handed over to Nigeria Police Force, Benue State for further investigation.”
The investigation indicated that the vehicle was traveling from Onitsha, Anambra State, to Taraba State, according to the Comptroller.
“This epic seizure is very commendable at the backdrop of the heightened insecurity in the country. Should 550 rounds of live ammunition escape into the Country and fall into wrong hands, the consequences will be devastating,” he said.
According to Peters, the JBPT made 49 seizures in the zone between August and December with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N29.273 million, with items seized including 1,251 Jericans of 25 litres each of PMS (31,273 liters), 751 Bags of foreign parboiled Rice, 9 Used Vehicles, 7 Bales of second-hand clothing, one Motorcycle used for PMS conveyance and smuggling surveillance, and 550 Pump Action cartridges.
He went on to say that the smuggled items led to the arrest of 17 suspects.
While asking individuals to stop smuggling, the Coordinator also cautioned those who seek to gain money by smuggling forbidden commodities over the holiday season to think twice. “As our officers have continued to dominate the general area with aggressive patrols to deny smugglers freedom of action.”
He promised that the Joint Border Patrol Team, Sector 3 will do all possible to ensure that smuggling dies out, adding that “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”.
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