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‘Smuggling persists despite border closure’

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Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has decried the attitude of die-hard smugglers still operating in the Northcentral, despite the border closure.

It said smugglers were having a field day in border communities in the Northcentral states.

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NCS Coordinator for Joint Border Drill Operations, code-named: Swift Response, Comptroller Mohammed Garba, spoke at a three-day sensitisation programme with traditional rulers and stakeholders in border communities on Kaiama-Jebba-Mokwa-Wawa-Babanna-Kotangora axis of Kwara and Niger states.

The border drill operation covers Northcentral states of Kwara, Niger, Kogi and Benue.

At the palace of the district head in Babanna community, the coordinator said perpetrators and economic saboteurs had devised new means of using bush-paths, motorbikes and camels to carry out their nefarious activities.

The coordinator, who frowned at the activities of the smugglers, stressed that there would be no retreat on the fight against smuggling in any disguise.

He advised the community, district heads and the public to embrace legitimate means of livelihood and avoid smuggling in all ramifications.

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Garba said Customs men in the operations were battle-ready to puncture the new techniques initiated by economic saboteurs to perpetuate their illicit acts.

The coordinator said the movement of all types of vehicle and boat used for transporting petroleum products across the land borders and waterways within a 20-kilometre radius had been restricted.

He added that anyone caught violating the order would be prosecuted and jailed.

Also, the district head of Babanna community, Alhaji Isah Yerima, averred that the security situation in the community had improved since the border closure.

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