Joint border security operation prompts massive arrests, seizures


Massive arrests and seizures of contraband have been recorded in the last six days at the ongoing joint border security operation involving the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army. The operation is code-named ‘Exercise Swift Response’.



The National Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Joseph Attah, said 33 migrants had been arrested and several smuggled goods intercepted within the period.



He said in a statement, “The resolve of the Nigerian security agencies to better secure the country’s territorial integrity particularly; the land and maritime borders against trans-border security concerns have started yielding positive results from the ongoing joint border security exercise, code-named Exercise Swift Response.



“The exercise, which commenced barely a week ago, has received appreciable support from members of the populace such as border community dwellers and other well-meaning Nigerians.



“The Office of the National Security Adviser, which is coordinating the exercise, is already recording large numbers of seizures and arrests from the four sectors comprising the North-West, North-Central, South-West and South-South geopolitical zones.



“As of 26th August, 2019, 33 illegal migrants had been arrested while seizures were 3,560-50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice; 59 bags of NPK fertilizer; 15 vehicles; 12 drums filled with PMS; three engine boats; 65 drums of groundnut oil; four trucks; 75 gallons and other items were intercepted.”



He said the security forces had continued to patrol the border, adding, “While an exercise of this nature is likely to create some inconveniences to members of the public, the overriding interest is to prevent the country against transnational security concerns such as smuggling, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, irregular migration, terrorism and armed banditry.”



The exercise happening simultaneously in all the borders across Nigeria has also left travellers in the North-Central such as Kwara, Niger and Kogi states stranded.



The Assistant Comptroller of Customs, Enforcement, Inspection and Investigation, Aminu Dahiru, reportedly gave instruction that the borders should be shut to goods and services in line with the border drill operation.
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