Lagos Customs seizes 607kg of cannabis sativa, others, arrests 27 suspects
Operatives of Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A have seized 607 kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativa, 7,059 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, which is equivalent to 14 trailer loads and other smuggled items with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N713,663,355 within three weeks.
Acting Controller of the unit, Deputy Comptroller Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu, who disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos, yesterday, said 27 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the 1,800 seizures.
Giving a breakdown of the seizures, Ejibunu said: “The last briefing took place on Tuesday, December 2, for which most of you witnessed the showcasing of the unit’s seizure in five weeks with a DPV of N2.8 billion.
“In just three weeks, the unit made the following seizures: 7,059 bags of foreign parboiled rice 50kg each (about 14 trailers load); 607 kilogrammes of Cannabis sativa (Indian hemp); 537 kegs of PMS at 25 litres each; 86 bales of secondhand clothing; 570 pieces of used brassieres; 4,467 pairs of used shoes; 280 cartons of frozen poultry products; 186 pieces of used bags, three used vehicles; 43 used motorcycles; 70 cartons of tomato paste; and 39 used fridges.”
Addressing some inquiries by members of the public on the legality of officers’ patrols and seizures, the Acting Controller cited relevant Sections of the Customs and Excise Management Act 2004 as amended.
He explained that section 147 gives the service authority to enter any premises on suspicion of harbouring prohibited items without warrant; section158 gives authority to patrol freely and section 46 confers authority to seize prohibited items
He added that section 11 gives the power of prosecution of anyone obstructing customs officers from doing their duty.
On the killing of customs officers, he expressed determination of the service to arrest anyone involved in such murderous acts, while announcing the arrest of one of the prime suspects that killed an officer of the unit on active service on September 11.
The unit within the period under review also seized 721.5kg of cannabis, which was handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
He added that a seizure of 607kg of the illicit drug was made along Oshodi-Mushin Expressway without a suspect, while 114.5kg was intercepted and seized along Ijebu-Ode/Abeokuta Expressway with a suspect identified as Mr Anthony Duru.
The unit, he said, recently handed over 14,728kg of Cannabis sativa, which has become a regular occurrence that Ejibunu decried as a contributor to criminal activities that shouldn’t be allowed in society.
Receiving the Cannabis Sativa on behalf of the NDLEA, Mr Humphrey Ugwoke a Deputy Commander of Narcotics (DNC) thanked DC Ejibunu for his contribution to the fight against illicit drugs and commended the cooperation between both agencies of government.
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