By ANOLU VINCENT
THE Nigeria Customs Service(NCS),Federal Operation Unit(FOU) Zone ‘C’ Owerri which comprises the 11 states in the South East and South South geopolitical zones have disclosed that it arrested a total 316 suspects in the year 2015 in connection with the smuggling of various contraband goods into the country.
The Area Comptroller in charge of the Unit, Victor David Dimka, who disclosed this to newsmen in his office last week said that the figure recorded was in contrast to that recorded in 2014 which stood at 104.
Taking stock of the performance of the unit last year in comparison with that of the preceding year 2014, Dimka said that while 466 seizures were made in 2015, 363 was made in 2014, adding that a total of four suspects were convicted in 2014 and one in 2015.
According to him, the unit in the year under review, had18 cases pending in court in 2014 while 23 cases are similarly in court in respect of seizures made in 2015.
Dimka, who gave the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of 2014 as N1.8 billion as against N2.7billion in 2015 made by the unit, said “this is a geometrical progression of what we made in 2014 and it will go higher in 2016 because our officers are ever ready to work.”
With over N72 million recorded as revenue in 2014, Dimka said that N130, 144, 132 million was made in 2015. He explained that the feat was accomplished because officers of the unit fine-tuned their strategies against smuggling in the zone just as they said he said the need to redouble their efforts in the onslaught against smuggling.
Dimka commended sister agencies and other organizations for their sustained support and collaboration with the NCs in the crusade against smuggling and called for its sustenance.
He, however, decried isolated cases of unwarranted media attack and blackmail against the NCS by some sections of the media and enjoined such institutions to always contact his office for verification of facts whenever necessary.
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