March 28, 2023

Maritime Today Online

latest news and events in maritime and shipping

Customs debunks allegation of arms smuggling through Ogun borders

The Ogun 1 Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has debunked allegations of arms smuggling into the country through the borders in the State.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ogun, the National Association of University Students (NAUS) and the National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS) had on Thursday alleged an upsurge of smuggling activities and the influx of illegal firearms into the country, a development they claimed had further worsened insecurity in the country.

But the command in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Hammed Oloyede, described the allegations as malicious lies that are not only misleading but are likely to create unnecessary tension in Ogun State and the country.

Oloyede said there has never been a time where arms and ammunition are allowed to be smuggled into the country through Ogun state and it will not be allowed to be smuggled in whatever form.

He said the Command had since fortified the numerous illegal routes through which contrabands are smuggled into the Country with aggressive patrols and had stepped up its anti-smuggling operations in the State to checkmate the nefarious activities of these enemies of the State.

“Other allegations of smuggling activities taking place during the daytime are only in the imagination of the fabricator of that story. The tightened security architecture in the state today by Customs and other Security Agencies will not permit smuggling of contrabands and other prohibited items at night time not to talk of during the day.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the command recorded over 1500 seizures of various contrabands and prohibited items ranging from foreign parboiled rice, foreign used vehicles, used shoes and clothing’s, Tomato Paste, Sativa (Marijuana), and petroleum products made for export since the beginning of the year. For instance, seizures of 46,491bags of foreign parboiled rice were made in the Command between the months of January 2021 to August 2021. About 20 suspects are currently undergoing trial for various Smuggling offenses in the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“In as much as the Command does not want to join issues with the so-called students, their sponsors and collaborators, we want to advise them to focus and concentrate on their studies and school activities so that they graduate in record time and be better citizen tomorrow instead of offering and allowing themselves to be used as tools for blackmail of an individual and Government Institution. The Service wishes to implore them to channel their energy towards educating their fellow members of various communities on dangers inherent in smuggling activities,” Oloyede said