The Controller of Customs, Olugboyega Peters, coordinator, Joint Border Patrol, Sector 3, has explained reasons why lynchpins of smuggling syndicates have proven difficult to arrest and prosecute despite successes of the service’s campaign in reducing smuggling activities by 85 percent in his sector that covers four States.
The Customs officer said that a combination of ignorance by footmen employed by the Kingpins who are drivers or operatives makes it difficult to get at the real planners of the economic saboteurs.
“This drivers are largely ignorant, illiterate, not knowing the implication of what they have asked them to smuggle into the country.
“Even for the vehicles used to convey the contrabands, the owners mostly turnout not to be wiser about the naferious activities for which their vehicles were hired,” Peters said.
The Sector coordinator made this fresh disclosure at the Ilorin headquarters of the Sector 3 command while given his quarterly briefing to newsmen.
Among other issues, the customs officer revealed new tricks employed by diesel smugglers to traffick oil outside the country.
According to the Customs Seevice, smugglers have resorted to using sacks to smuggle petroleum products.
Narrating an incident, the officer said that a team of officers deployed to Lokoja axis of the sector, arrested a truck with Reg. No. FST 102 XT along Lokoja-Abuja high way transporting Six Hundred and Fifty (650) bags of 60 liters each of diesel concealed with sawdust.
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.