Three underage children who were being taken to Burkina Faso for child labour have been rescued.
They were rescued by the Nigeria Customs Service at Babana in the Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The Coordinator of the Joint Border Patrol Team, Sector 3, North Central Zone, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, who disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Wednesday, said the children, who were between 16 and 18 years, were trafficked from Benin City, Edo State.
He said, “The three illegal immigrants (teenagers between 16 and 18 years of age) were rescued around Babana axis of the sector coming from Benin, Edo State, en route to Burkina-Faso. After thorough investigation, it was discovered that the teenagers were being trafficked by a syndicate to Burkina Faso.”
Peters said the team also seized a bus, popularly called Marcapolo, belonging to All Express International along the Abuja-Lokoja highway, conveying “44 bales of acidic second-hand clothing and 16 sacks of fairly-used infectious shoes with a duty paid value of N3.68m.”
A trailer, loaded with 550 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, was also intercepted along the Mokwa-Jebba Road with a duty paid value of N14,025,000.
“Prominent to note also was the interception of a 2019 Lexus SUV that costs the sum of N21m, intercepted along the Oturpa-Enugu Road in the Benue axis of the sector. It beats my imagination to think that a man who can afford this type of luxury car can invade a customs duty of N7.3m,” he added.
The coordinator said despite the fuel scarcity in the country, operatives of the sector at different times and locations intercepted and seized 3,068 kegs of 25 litres of petrol in an attempt to smuggle them out of the country.
In a related development, the Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun 1 Area Command, on Wednesday, said it impounded contraband goods worth N3,400,226,707 in the last six months of the year.
The command added that it generated a total sum of N29,940,146.50 from import duties and auction sales of petrol seized from smugglers.
The Ogun 1 Area Controller, Bamidele Makinde, stated this at a press briefing in Abeokuta on Wednesday.
Makinde said his men intercepted 25,906 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each, being equivalence of 43 trailer loads in the first six months of the year.