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Stealing seized items at Onne Customs warehouse raises salient questions

Though the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Onne Area Command, recently paraded five men it claimed broke into a 40-foot seized container containing hard drugs in its warehouse has come and gone, security experts have raised questions for Customs commands and their internal security at warehouses for seized items.

In a recent press conference at the Command in Onne, Rivers State, the Area Controller of the command, Aliyu Saidu, said the men after breaking into the container stole the hard drugs and loaded them into two vehicles before they were caught.

According to him, an interim committee was immediately set up to investigate the incident, claiming further that the suspects reportedly attempted to bribe an officer of the Command with N1m to allow them escape with the drugs.

Security experts who x-rayed the scenario raised a number of questions bordering on the nature of security architecture in the warehouse.

Key questions to be answered by the Command’s hierarchy include 1, how come the arrested five suspects were able to carry out the act without connivance with some officers and men of the Command?

2, Is it possible that no Customs officer or officers were accomplices? 3, If there are officers that were partners in the crime, why were they not paraded and named just as was done to the five paraded? 4, How many times have such criminality occurred before because the scenario does not look like first timer?

These and so much more questions and their answers are highly needed from the Command to avoid painting a picture that tend to suggest that the five arrested persons acted alone in the crime without involvement of some officers of the Command.

Business Hilights gathered that the re-seized items include drugs that are packed in 14 cartons of Time tablets; five cartons of Really Extra analgesic and two cartons of tramadol including the vehicles used in the act.

Though the case had been charged to court, Saidu revealed that “It is regrettable to note that while the Nigeria Customs Service is working round the clock to free this country of illicit goods, some recalcitrant and unpatriotic citizens are not relenting in their desperate urge to sabotage our efforts by spreading harmful drugs.”

Efforts to speak with the Command’s PRO failed at press time.