Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced that it has arrested not less than 100 illegal migrants and 177 suspects engaging in smuggling activities since the nation’s land borders were closed three weeks ago.
NCS Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, in a statement, said the arrests were made after the intensive joint border patrol by the security agencies coordinated the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
The security agencies, he said, have continued to receive reports of large numbers of seizures and arrests from the four sectors of North-west, North-central, South-west and South-south geopolitical zones.
“As at September 10, 2019, 100 illegal migrants have been arrested while seizures so far made include: 8,360 – 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice; 122 bags of fertiliser; 77 vehicles; 781 drums filled with PMS as well as 16,371 empty 200 litres drums to be used for smuggling PMS; 1,491 packs of assorted drugs; three outboard 40HP Engines; 13 Cotonou boats; 185 drums of groundnut oil; six trucks; 114 motorcycles; among other items with 117 suspects,” he said.
Attah added: “As part of the efforts to sustain the rigorous patrol along the national borderlines, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede, and the Coordinator of the exercise, Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Aliyu Ndagi, have commenced an on-the-spot-assessment of the implementation and compliance of the ongoing border security drills.
“The exercise, which is being led by the Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) as well as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and other security and intelligence agencies, is intended to better secure our borders, boost national economy and strengthen border security.”
Speaking on behalf of the NCS Comptroller-General, Attah appealed to the patriotic spirit of all Nigerians, especially members of the business community to see the exercise as an opportunity to further create a conducive environment for local businesses to thrive in the overall interest of national security and development.