The Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted three boats loaded with marijuana along an unnamed waterway in Lagos.
The Customs Zone `A’ Coordinator, Assistant Comptroller-General, Charles Edike made the disclosure in Lagos while speaking at a Stakeholders` Forum organised by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF).
Edike said the boats were intercepted by officers of the Western Marine Command while the smugglers had been arrested and would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
The zonal coordinator said smuggling activities on waterways had been on the increase in recent times.
Checking the menace
He, however, said that men of the service were fully on the alert to check illegal activities of water smugglers.
“Smugglers have resorted to using the waterways to carry out their despicable activities but I can assure you that men of the service are up to the task to check this criminality.
Just three days ago, our men intercepted three boats fully loaded with marijuana. Our men from the Western Marine Command got the smugglers.
“We will increase our patrols both on land and waters to ensure those smugglers and other economic saboteurs have no hiding place,” Edike said.
He said the service would not yield to calls in some quarters to take away its men on some federal highways as the deployment was meant to check smugglers who used the highways to carry out their illegal activities.
Edike stressed that men of the service had made large seizures of arms from smugglers on some highways, especially around Idiroko in Ogun and Iseyin in Oyo State, Southern Nigeria.
Edike stated that the incidents justified continuous patrols by officers on the highway.
He added that more officers had been deployed to bush routes used by smugglers around Seme border in Lagos, saying that the strategy was to ensure that smuggling activities were limited in the area.