Officers of the Ogun State Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has recovered a 2018 model Range Rover SUV in a forest in Ifo Local Government Area after it was abandoned by smugglers during a chase by the customs officer.
In just a period of two weeks the Command has seized a total number of 13 smuggled vehicles.
The Controller of the command, Sani Madugu, said this on Thursday at the Idiroko border while briefing journalists about the seizures made in the area within the period under review.
He said the SUV, which he described as ‘the seizure of the month’, has a total duty payable value of N51.2m.
Madugu said the operatives of the command intercepted the jeep along one of the smugglers’ routes around Ifo in Ifo Local Government Area of the state.
He said the smugglers abandoned the vehicle and fled when they realised the Customs operatives had already closed in on them.
He explained that the jeep has a keyless entry, accessible only through a remote control mode. Madugu said on sighting Customs operatives the smugglers abandoned the vehicle and ran into the forest.
“This is the seizure of the month. This keyless entry vehicle has a duty payable value of N51.2m,” he said. Apart from the 13 impounded vehicles, there are other seizures made from smugglers within the period and they are 1,168 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 221 kegs of vegetable oil, five sacks of second-hand shoes, and two sacks of second-hand bags” he said
He added that 12 additional vehicles and 21 motorcycles used as means of conveyance of the bags of rice were also seized. The Customs boss put the combined duty payable value of all the seizures at N153.86m.
Speaking on the attack on one of the operatives of the Federal Operations Unit, serving in Idiroko border, who was attacked with machete last week by smugglers, he warned that the command would not relent in its efforts to curb smuggling in the state.
“We will continue to make seizures. We will not fold our arms while the smugglers kill or maime our operatives.
“I want to appeal to traditional rulers and other well-meaning elders in the state to talk to those involved in smuggling to look for other legitimate means of livelihood.”