Customs suspends 23 officers over alleged $13,000 extortion, rape
THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has suspended 23 senior officers over alleged extortion of $13,000, rape and other offences.
NCS disclosed Monday that 12 of the officers were suspended from service pending the outcome of investigations while 11 others are currently facing investigative panels set up by the Comptroller General of Customs, Dikko Inde Abdullahi.
Among those suspended are three Assistant Superintendent of Customs implicated in a case of alleged extortion at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.
According to NCS, the officers attached to the currency declaration desk at the airport got into trouble for allegedly extorting the sum of $13,000 during the outward clearance of a passenger on Emirates Airline flight.
Two others, also Assistant Superintendents serving in Seme Command are also under suspension for alleged rape, an offense said to have been committed in Badagry area of Lagos.
Abdullahi, according to a statement issued by Public Relation Officer, Wale Adeniyi, expressed regrets that the involvement of young officers recently recruited into the Service in various illegal acts is worrisome.
He warned that the Service will not tolerate such officers, noting that the machinery for investigations in the service will be strengthened to punish erring officers.
Mid level management officers serving in the Ports were also affected in the recent action as five Assistant Comptrollers of Customs serving in Tin Can Island Port are among those suspended from service for improper release of seizures.
Others, including a Deputy Comptroller serving in Apapa Port have appeared at the investigative panel for negligence and improper examination of containers.
Six officers were made to appear before the same panel for offenses ranges from hacking of passwords, falsification of academics certificates, negligence and general indiscipline.
The Comptroller General said the Service will go after officers operating illegal check points, adding that “acknowledged persistent complaint he has received on some routes, particularly around Kogi, Ondo and Edo states”.
He assured motorist that special units of his office will conduct special surveillance operation to apprehend the culprit, pointing out that officers operating such illegal check points will be severely punished.
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