JBPT intercepts 39,000 litres of diesel concealed in polythene bags

By Ahmed Ajikobi

The Nigerian Customs Joint Border Patrol Team Sector 3, has punctured a smuggling device, where petroleum products are smuggled outside the country in polythene bags and 35,375 litres of PMS with other 80 banned items seized within five months.

This was disclosed to newsmen in Ilorin, by the Custom Sector Commander and Coordinator of the border patrol, Comptroller Olugbenga Peters, saying that, during their operations along Lokoja-Abuja Highway in Kogi State, they arrested a truck carrying 650 bags containing 60-litres of diesel in polythene bags.

According to him, the seizure was part of the total 82 seizures made within five months in Kwara, Kogi, Benue and Niger States by the sector command.

Peters, while breaking down the items intercepted, said that since his assumption of duty in late 2020, the Command had seized 154,404 litres of petroleum product with a value of N91,236,450.00

The coordinator further said that smuggling methods had advanced, as various techniques were being deployed by smugglers, who resorted to packing even liquid petroleum products in sacks.

“I want to warn these criminal elements operating in the sector that any method, scheme or tactics used, shall be uncovered, and they shall be arrested and prosecuted

“We are more determined than ever, to make the sector uncomfortable for them as the sector will henceforth beam its search light on trucks with sacks,” he explained.

He revealed that a team of officers deployed to Lokoja axis of the sector, arrested the truck with Registration Number FST 102 XT, along Lokoja-Abuja Highway, transporting 650 60-litre-bag of diesel, concealed with sawdust.

He added, “while conveying the said goods to Sector 3 Headquarters, Ilorin, the truck was involved in an accident around Egbe, in Kogi State and the seizing officers had to transfer the goods to another vehicle.

“The truck and the two suspects were handed over to Egbe Police station.”

The 82 seizures of different items included: 650 sacks of 60-litres-diesel (39,000 litres); 1,735 50-kilogramme bags of foreign parboiled rice; and 1,415 25-litre jerry cans of petroleum products (36, 525 litres).

The Sector Commander also informed the press at the briefing that 33 used vehicles, 12 bales of second hand clothing and 10 motorcycles, with the total Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N92,547,752 were also seized.

Peters further disclosed that from the records made available by the NNPC/DPR, only 13 petrol tankers were granted approval to load petroleum products every week to border communities, to prevent excess products being smuggled out.

He however said that escort officers of the approved petroleum tankers, loaded with petrol to the point of discharge, should not be mistaken for smugglers trying to smuggle products out of the country.

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