“He said that the packs of Indian hemp were wrapped to look like pawpaw weighing one kilogramme each when the Volkswagen Golf car conveying them was apprehended.”
The Sokoto Command of Nigerian Customs Service has seized 517 bags of foreign rice and 320 parcels of cannabis of one kilogramme each illegally smuggled into the country.
Addressing newsmen on Saturday in Sokoto, its Comptroller, Mr Gimba Umar, said other items seized included 34 bags of sugar and 45 bales of second-hand clothes all intercepted at various routes in Sokoto and Kebbi states in the last two weeks.
Umar said the items had total duty paid value of N14.9 million.
He said that the packs of Indian hemp were wrapped to look like pawpaw weighing one kilogramme each when the Volkswagen Golf car conveying them was apprehended.
According to him, no suspect was arrested in connection with the offence as the suspects fled and abandoned the vehicle in an uncompleted building.
He commended the police for their support which facilitated the successful apprehension of the illicit substances, stressing that when the suspects approached customs checkpoint, the quickly turned back which aroused suspicion.
The comptroller said other areas where the items were intercepted included Argungu-Kangiwa, Illela, Sokoto-Gusau, Kamba and Dole Kaina axis.
Umar assured that the command would not relent in its efforts to ensure that no person or group of persons sabotaged efforts of the NCS and the growth of the nation’s economy.
“We will keep pursuing them to ensure that no foreign rice passes our borders as smugglers can do everything possible to succeed in their unlawful strives,” Umar said.
He reiterated that the command would sustain its commitment to revenue generation, ensuring a smuggling-free country and other mandates of the NCS.
Receiving the Indian hemp, an NDLEA official, Mr Almustapha Aliyu, said the illicit substances were suspected to be imported from the Benin Republic and Ghana.
He, however, promised that the substances would be subjected to laboratory tests and measured at NDLEA office.
He commended the Customs service for intercepting the illicit drugs, stressing that this was not the first time the service was achieving such a feat.
He described the feat as an indication of the synergy that existed between the Customs service and NDLEA in the state.