In less than ten months, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has again intercepted and seized a truck belonging to Dangote Cement Company in Ogun State with about 3,000 cartons of contraband frozen poultry valued at over N47 million.
Recall that in December 2016, the Federal Operations Unit Zone A Lagos of the Nigeria Customs Service had impounded a Dangote Group truck with hundreds of bags of rice concealed with cement also in Ogun State, at Papanlanto.
Speaking on the recent seizure, Customs Area Controller in the state, Sani Magudu, said the driver of the Dangote truck escaped and was still on the run.
The truck, with the inscription Ibese 13 and with registration number ICT-13E-047, was parked on Monday within the command premises in Abeokuta fully loaded with the products.
Madugu said investigation showed that the frozen poultry was being transported into Nigeria from Benin Republic.
“A trailer belonging to Dangote Group loaded with 3,000 cartons of frozen turkey was intercepted on Saturday 16th September 2017 at about 3.45 a.m.along Sagamu-Abeokuta interchange,” he said.
ALSO SEE: Seme Customs command generates N701m
He said the smugglers were not aware that they were being monitored from the point of packaging of the products until the vehicle was impounded at about 3.45 a.m. on Saturday at Sagamu interchange, which links the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“We are one step ahead of them. The smugglers now connive with Dangote truck drivers. We started monitoring them from their loading spot to Sagamu interchange where the vehicle was intercepted,” he said.
He said the motor boy of the truck was arrested but the driver ran away.
He said the products in over 3,000 cartons were valued at N47.25 million and had duty value of N20.25 million.
The Customs boss decried the various tricks, which smugglers devise to push contraband commodity into the Nigerian market.
“Every available means is used to smuggle illegal items. You can even imagine people mixing cement and rice and taking it to the market for sale. That is poison. So let all of us make it our responsibility to join hands so that we can track these smugglers.
Sani Magudu advised smugglers who see the yuletide season as a period to carry out their nefarious activities to desist from such illegal business warning that the unit has devised other tactical strategies that will make them count their losses.