Customs officers turn down N1.5m bribe from railway track vandals

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Officers and men of the Nigerian Customs Service, Sokoto/Zamfara Command, have turned down the sum of N1.5m from suspected vandals of railway tracks.

The operatives of the command on Saturday clamped down on a notorious cartel that specialised in vandalising railway tracks, alongside a truck conveying a 20-foot container laden with vandalised railway tracks.

Also, in the process, three suspects were intercepted by the command monitoring team at Kajiji along Kebbi Road.

The Comptroller of Customs, Sokoto/Zamfara Commands, Kamal Muhammed, while briefing newsmen at the commands headquarters in Sokoto, said, “The suspects could not tender evidence of allocation from the Federal Ministry of Transportation, instead made an overture to bribe the officers with N1.5m and even made an advance cash offer of N300, 000.

“Out of patriotism and integrity, the officers chose the path of honour by detaining them at the command headquarters.

“As we are all aware, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence is the agency mandated to secure critical national assets, conforming with the collaboration policy thrust of the CGC. The Area Command will hand over the suspects, the truck, and its content and the sum of N300,000 cash to the commander NSCDC Sokoto Command who is here with us for further investigation and prosecution.”

Meanwhile, the command has also auctioned 11,270 litres of Petroleum Motor Spirits, at the rate of N180 per litre to the public in Sokoto.

“In compliance with the Comptroller General of Customs’ marching order to seal up all routes used for the smuggling of petroleum products, the Zone  “B” Whirlwind Tactical Team with reinforcement by officers and men of the Sokoto/Zamfara Area Command intercepted 11, 270 litres of PMS popularly called petrol.

“The maritime and cross-border smuggling of the PMS hurts the overall supply chain of the product in addition to the possibility of funding of criminal activities with the proceeds.

“Even with the removal of subsidy, the smuggling of PMS brings about extra cost burden on the country both in terms of security of supply and securing of the scarce foreign exchange used to import the product.”

He said the service was poised to continue to protect Nigeria’s economic interest with dedication and integrity without fear or favour in tandem with the provisions of the law.

“In line with extant laws and the approval by the Comptroller General of Customs, the seized PMS will be auctioned to the general public today at a token of N180 per litre.

“Last week, the Whirwild Zone B tactical team auctioned 20,142 litres of PMS to the public at the Kebbi Area Command,” he added.

Punch

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