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Tin Can Customs uncovers syndicate forging area controller’s signature for cargo clearance

The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has uncovered activities of a syndicate that specialises in forging the signature of the Comptroller, Kunle Oloyede to clear containers at the command.

Findings by The Trumpet revealed that a huge number of containers involved in the scam have been intercepted by the command and were undergoing investigation at the enforcement unit as of the time of filing this report.

The Tin Can Island Port is famous for being the most notorious port in Nigeria with criminal activities including forging of clearance documents popularly known as ‘Machine Outside’ or M.O., a practice referred to by the players in the past as ‘Canteen Boys,’ who usually hang around the Tin Can Port food canteen to await opportunities to carry out their nefarious activities.

tin can port customs unveil syndicate

Their activities were effectively curtailed during the era of the late former Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Abudullahi Inde Dikko, who busted and arrested many members of the syndicate, but apparently, the scourge had resurfaced at the port.

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Although, it could not be ascertain if any arrests have been made in connection with the seized containers, The Trumpet learnt from reliable sources that Comptroller Oloyede was angry about the development and had vowed to nip the criminal activities in the bud. Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the command, Uche Ejesieme, confirmed the development, saying the command uncovered activities of the criminals through the deployment of technology and artificial intelligence.

“The intercepted containers are being investigated. I cannot give you the number of containers intercepted, but the truth is that we uncovered a syndicate that forged the comptroller signature and all the items associated there to have been impounded and are undergoing investigation.

“In every trade value chain, there must be criminals on the prowl, but the good thing is that a set of Information Communication Technology (ICT) officers deployed from Abuja by the Comptroller General, Col. Ali Hameed (rtd.), are helping to do a wonderful job.”

Speaking further, Ejesieme said: “If you go to the office now you will see them very busy with their systems, checking and profiling the system. It is not new to us because we know that criminals would always want to be ahead, even in America, which is best developed in technology, people try to be ahead of the government.

We preempt some of these criminal activities and try to see how we can block them.”

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