Fire guts Katsina customs office

The office of the Nigerian Custom Service, NCS, in Katsina State, was yesterday gutted by fire. Consequently, vehicles and other valuables seized by the command were destroyed.

The Command’s comptroller, Olusemire Kayode, who confirmed the incident during a briefing with newsmen, said the command had been under some threats, adding that the fire incident could be an act of sabotage.

Kayode said the commands have in recent time made major arrest and seizure which has triggered several harassments and threats from people.

“Unfortunately, this morning we had an incident of fire around 4:30a.m. Officers on duty called to inform me that there was an act of fire in the office.

“Probably, it is an act of incendiary or sabotage. We have been threatened, called names because the people are feeling the effect of what we are doing here. We receive threats through phone calls; they call to harass us, using unknown numbers.

“Of recent, smugglers everywhere have been complaining about our activities because they know there is a paradigm shift.

“In the last three to four weeks, we have made some seizures such as rice, spaghetti, vegetable oil and used tyres. We have arrested seven J5 vehicles loading an average of 100 bags of rice, 15 saloon cars, loading an average of 35 bags of rice, seven Volkswagen and 12 motorcycles conveying second-hand clothing.

“We arrested six suspects but we granted them administrative bails according to the constitution.”

Speaking on the threat, Comptroller Kayode said he has visited the Emir of Katsina to seek his intervention to checkmate the menace.

“Two days ago, we went to complain to the Emir and appeal to him to help us talk to his wards about the ills of smuggling activities in the state.

He said the issue of smuggling is affecting the country’s economy as the things which are been smuggled in are available in the country.

“The business of smuggling is an issue that has been affecting the economy of the country most especially on rice, vegetable oil, and spaghetti.”

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