The Nigeria Customs Service has lamented that despite its effort to curb the transportation of contrabands items into the country, smugglers use unapproved routes to bring in band products.
The Public Relations Officer of the Service, Joseph Attah, revealed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.
He stated that the ingenuity deployed by criminals or smugglers has made it possible for contraband items to come into the country .
According to Attah, some smugglers conceal the items in a manner that they might be lucky to escape arrest by the customs operatives .
“People often ask where were customs operatives when contraband goods entered the country without being stopped. We have seen a situation where rice is smuggled using gas cylinders or a situation where a spare tyre is used. The tyre is perforated and rice is loaded inside and when you open the booth you see what is supposed to be a tyre.
“If you do not have a tip – off, you are not likely to know that inside that spare tyre are ten or fifteen mudus (measures) of foreign rice.
Another circumstance, smugglers use casket that is used to carry a corpse to either smuggle rice or petrol. They sometimes load petrol in jerry cans and put it inside a casket, wrapped in such a way that you think is carrying a dead body.
“A situation like this, if you don’t have intelligence, you wouldn’t know. For instance, without a tip – off, it is unlikely as a human being to accost a vehicle carrying the casket with a supposed dead body and request for such to be opened.
“If people with all these tricks succeed and escape, their smuggled items are what you find in shops, markets, and houses,’’ Attah explained.
He reiterated the agency’s commitment to further secure borders and close the numerous loopholes that are used to smuggle contraband items into the country adding that they have new strategies in place.