December 5, 2022

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Viral video: Customs detains officer, dismisses claims of cross-border smuggling of fuel

Viral video: Customs detains officer, dismisses claims of cross- border smuggling of fuel

The Nigeria Customs Service said it has detained the officer seen in a viral video accusing his Controller of ordering him to allow petroleum laden tankers to cross the border with suspected smuggled products.

Customs Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Timi Bomodi in a statement, said the state in which the officer depicted himself in the video and his comportment suggests someone with an unstable mind.

He said his actions led to his immediate withdrawal by the Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘D’, who instructed his detention pending medical evaluation.

Bomodi said the fuel laden tankers referenced in the video are still well within city limits and therefore can neither be accused of nor arrested for transporting goods across the border.

The statement reads, “The Nigeria Customs Service is compelled to respond to a recent video making the rounds on social media. This video depicts a half-clad individual recording himself while claiming to have arrested trucks carrying premium motor spirit across the border as an officer of Nigeria Customs Service.

“The facts are as follows; the person in the video is indeed an officer of Nigeria Customs Service, and he is currently attached to the Federal Operations Unit Zone D in Adamawa. This incident occurred on Wednesday 2nd of November 2022 at Malabo Checkpoint on Belel Road, Adamawa state. It is important to note that 55 kilometres separate this location from the nearest border.

“Between the place where this incident occurred and the border, there are fully operational petrol stations. Preliminary investigations indicate that the drivers on these trucks were in possession of duly signed product distribution sheets for consignments allocated by PPMC for filling stations within that vicinity. As vehicles in transit, they are considered still to be well within city limits and therefore can neither be accused of nor arrested for transporting goods across the border.

All our officers are compelled by a strict dress code to not only be in uniform while on duty, but to adorn their name tags for easy identification by members of the public. The state in which this officer depicted himself in this video, his comportment and his speech suggests a level of incoherence associated with people of an unstable mind. Indeed, his actions led to his immediate withdrawal by the Controller Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘D’, who instructed his detention pending medical evaluation.

The NCS seriously frowns at any action that is inimical to the economic well-being of our nation. Our battle with smuggling has been unequivocal and unyielding. Our checkpoints are usually manned by a team of officers all of whom are assigned specific responsibilities. The levels of checks and counter-checks created as part of the NCS strategic enforcement initiative have made it extremely difficult for breaches to occur.

“Nigeria Customs Service wants to assure members of the public of the commitment of its officers and men to securing our borders. We ask for your understanding in this endeavor even as we seek your prayers for those whose health and well-being may have been compromised by stress, while carrying out their onerous assignment.