The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) said yesterday it intercepted petroleum products estimated at millions of naira while being smuggled to Benin Republic.
The items, it was learnt, were intercepted at the weekend by officers of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) at Zone ‘A’ in Ikeja, the Lagos State capital.
The petroleum products were reportedly loaded in 12 wooden speed boats conveying about 50,000 Jerry cans in Ijofin Creek in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The Assistant Comptroller General of Customs for Zone A, Aminu Dahiru, who was accompanied by the Customs Area Controller of FOU Zone A, Compt. Mohammed Aliyu and Controller of Ogun Command, Michael Agbara, said the seizures followed days of intelligence gathering by officers of the unit.
According to him, exportation of petroleum products through the creeks is an illegal trade and the service will continue to deal with it.
Dahiru said: “This is a big seizure and it needed to be showcased because of the size and the volume involved. The 11,000 Jerry cans were evacuated. Besides, there is more than triple that number in the creeks about to be snuggled out of the country. So, we thought it’s time to show Nigerians the activities of economic saboteurs and how we are dealing ruthlessly with them.”
On how the seizures were made, he said: “This is an unimaginable seizure made by our officers since they are petroleum products. We do not expect them to be smuggled into Nigeria. So, naturally, they are going out…”