May 29, 2023

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Customs WMC gets four new patrol boats to fight smuggling

Customs WMC gets four new patrol boats to fight smuggling

The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) said it has received additional four operational boats to further combat smuggling on the waterways.

Controller of the command, Comptroller Oduadu Salefu who disclosed this at a media briefing in Lagos on Tuesday said the boats consisting of two-gun boats and two logistics boats were received from the Customs management on March 28 and April 3rd 2023.

He said a total of seven boats have been procured for the command adding that three other watercrafts are being expected from the manufacturer next week.

Customs WMC gets four new patrol boats to fight smuggling

He said, “These are newly acquired gun boats ready to rid smugglers of their activities on the waterways. We have taken delivery of four and we are expecting three more by God’s grace. We have never received these kinds of boats in such quantity to a command.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank the Comptroller General who has continued to provide all necessary support and logistics for our operations, for this we are grateful; and assure CGC of our unrelenting fight against these economic saboteurs.”

Comptroller Salefu said the other two seagoing vessels namely: MV Group of Nine and MV Customs Pride will soon sail again to support the command’s existing fleets in its anti-smuggling patrol.

He said some personnel of the command are currently undergoing training with the Nigerian Navy on maritime safety and security to further equip them to man and operate the vessels.

He explained that the two seagoing vessels are currently under repairs and would soon be deployed to the high seas.

Meanwhile, the command said it recorded 15 various seizures with a cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N110million within the first quarter of the year.

Customs WMC gets four new patrol boats to fight smuggling

Giving a breakdown of the seizures, he said it included. 1,519 bags of 50kg-size foreign parboiled rice; 8,825 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) contained in 468 kegs of 25 liters each.


Others he listed as 700 pairs of foreign-used shoes; 20 used foreign ladies’ bags; 88 cartons of Caro White Cream (bleaching cream), 50 pairs of expired tyres, three outboard boat engines and one water pumping machine.

He said the items were seized at various intervals following tip offs and routine patrol by officers within the period under review.

Customs WMC gets four new patrol boats to fight smuggling

“In line with the responsibilities conferred on the NCS by the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), Cap C45 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria LFN 2004 as amended, the command continues to suppress smuggling along the South-Western waterways and Creeks.

“All actions of our operatives are in line with the provisions of Sections 149 (Power to vehicles/ship) and 158 (Power to patrol freely) of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004 as amended.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the importation of foreign parboiled rice, HS Code 1006.30.1000 is restricted in Nigeria by the Federal government since March 2016.

“Any improper importation of foreign rice, contrary to allowed trade route restriction, is liable to forfeiture, further to section 46 of the Customs and Excise Management Act(CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004 as amended,” he said.

The customs boss disclosed that five suspects were arrested within the period but have been granted administrative bail pending when charges will be proffered against them in court

He warned smugglers to abandon their unlawful trade and embrace legitimate trade as the command will not rest on its oars to rid the creeks  and waterways of illegal trade practices while enforcing government fiscal trade policies.

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