Customs seize trucks for smuggling N100m turkey

By The Citizen

The Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has confiscated 15,000 cartons of frozen turkey concealed in an articulated vehicle allegedly belonging to Dangote Cement along the Idiroko border, Ipokia Local Government Area.

The Dangote truck was marked  Jigawa KZR 130 XA, while the other vehicles involved in the smuggling of the frozen turkey were 911 Mercedes Benz truck (Ebonyi XA 732 ZLL), Mercedes J5 bus (MUS 904 XB Lagos) and Toyota Bus marked Lagos XT 644 APP.

The customs put the Duty Paid Value of the seized frozen turkey being conveyed by the vehicles at N100m.

The customs also arrested four suspects in connection with the act.

The suspects included the driver of the Dangote truck, Pascal Vincent; driver of the 911Mercedes truck,  Boniface Okoye; and two others, who claimed to be ordinary drivers assisting the smugglers of the contraband to convey the goods to Onitsha and Aba.

The drivers claimed they were paid a total of N550,000 as transport fares by the owners of the seized frozen turkey.

Parading the suspects and the confiscated contraband on Friday, the Controller of the Ogun Command of the NCS, Ade Dosunmu, said customs operatives along the Idi-Iroko border intercepted the smuggled goods.

Dosunmu stressed that the smuggled frozen turkey was not only harmful to Nigeria's economy, but also unfit for human consumption.

He said, 'The turkeys are not good for consumption, and once they get to the markets. They will undermine our local production of poultry products in the country.'

The Ogun Customs boss said further investigations would unravel the identity of those behind the smuggling of the contraband, adding that they would be prosecuted.

He added, 'We cannot continue to allow this. NCS will continue intercept and prosecute the offenders of this contraband. Their patrons will also be fished out and will be dealt with according to the laws of the land.

'Our investigation continues. This is what we have been saying about nefarious activities of the smugglers, you can see that these individuals or group of individuals do not mean well for Nigeria considering the unhealthy state of these products and its bad impact for our economy.'