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Border leakage: Customs intercepts over 52 trailers conveying imported Dates, Tiger nuts in Katsina



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There would appear to be border leakage in the northern part of Nigeria which may be permitting illicit trading or smuggling during the period of border closure ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari. Apparently, the Nigeria Customs Service, on Sunday, intercepted over 52 trucks carrying imported dates and tiger nuts into Nigeria through the land borders in Katsina.

Report indicated that the Customs suspected that contraband goods such as rice, illicit drugs and ammunition may be concealed in some of the trucks coming into the country. The date and tiger nuts dealers, however, denied the suspected involvement in such illicit trade.

It was said that the date and tiger nuts sellers association members as well as some residents of the community of intervention were at the checking point to observe the searching of their trucks confiscated by the Customs operatives on border patrol.

Consumers were said to have experienced shortage in the supply of dates and tiger nuts over three weeks in northern Nigeria. The products were said to be in high demand in the north.
It was narrated that the border closure and restriction of movement through the land borders have made it difficult for the products to get to the market in recent time.

It was highlighted that the demand for dates and tiger nuts has become so high since dates are gradually replacing the use of Kola nuts at social events.

Perhaps, the sellers has become desperate to meet the demand for dates and tiger nuts in the north, and decided to dare the customs, or the trade may have been clandestinely going on since the border closure and they could have been unlucky to run into the Customs.