By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The North Central Joint Border Operations Drill (JBOD) has made 48 seizures of various contrabands with total paid value (DPV) of N107.7m.
This was disclosed by the JBOD Coordinator, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, on Wednesday in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, while briefing journalists on the activities of the Sector in the last 24 days.
According to him, seized items include 961 bags of foreign rice, 33,000 litres of petroleum tanker, and 45 kegs of 25 litres each of petroleum.
Other items are 21 bales of second hand clothing, seven new tricycles, 25 cartons of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, 12 used vehicles and 45 motorcycle and tricycle spare parts.
The Coordinator said: “Smugglers have now unveiled new means of not just smuggling only foreign parboiled rice of 50kg, but unmilled rice (paddy rice) in 100kg just to deceive officers.
“One of the major highlights of today’s press briefing is the seizure of five trucks containing 1,677 bags of 100kg each of unprocessed rice around Chikanda/Okuta axis of the Sector worth N18.4m.
“This report is an indication of a strong message to those who are not willing to embrace legitimate business. The operatives of Sector 3 will continue to exercise their statutory responsibilities in the interest of overall socioeconomic prosperity of the country.
“The Sector 3 operatives’ zeal and determination to implement the partial closure of our nation’s land borders as directed by Mr. President remains unwavering and we will continue to make the Zone unfavorable to smugglers.
“The Yuletide is around the corner, and we want to admonish the smugglers who want to take advantage of the season to smuggle illicit controlled and prohibited goods or engage in human trafficking to think twice, as there will be no hiding place for them due to the new patrol strategies explored by the Sector.
“It is obvious that diehard smugglers are ready to do anything to carry out their nefarious activities: they now use scrap vehicles, tricycles, motorcycles, bicycles to smuggle goods and even they go as far as exhibiting their talents by using bags of local rice to conceal foreign parboiled rice with the intention to deceive our operatives.”