Benin - The Eastern zone of Nigerian Customs Service on Tuesday said it seized contraband with duty paid value of more than N200 million.
Mr Hassan Shallangwa , the Deputy Comptroller of Customs (Anti Smuggling unit), disclosed this at a press briefing in Benin.
He said that seizures were made between January and March.
``What we have achieved within three months is a clear testimony of what patriotic zeal supported by purposeful leadership can achieve for the nation,” he said.
He listed the seized items to include 4 002 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,766 bales of second hand clothes and 9 540 pairs of ladies foot wears.
Other items included 900 pieces of ladies bags, 900 used tyres and used vehicles and furniture.
Shallangwa said that the service arrested seven suspects who would be arraigned in court as soon as its legal department concluded all necessary work.
He expressed regret that unpatriotic Nigerians were still in the habit of importing prohibited items.
Shallangwa said apart from the health hazard of consuming these frozen chicken with questionable preservation, ``its continued importation negatively affects the nation’s quest for robust agricultural sector.
He also mentioned the risk of the dangers of driving with imported used tyres.
``Every seizure is a financial loss to the importer even with the possibility of jail term.
``But it is our statutory duty to ensure the economic and security well being of the country are protected that we must continue to do, no matter who will be affected,’’ he said.
He warned smugglers to desist as smuggling was no longer profitable.
Shallangwa said the anti-smuggling team had been reinvigorated through the retraining, enhancement of working tools and motivation of the staff.
He said the poultry product would be destroyed, while other items would be put up for auction.