THE recently-constituted joint security team in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has arrested 33 illegal migrants, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) spokesman Joseph Attah said in a statement on Tuesday.
The arrest was the product of the security agencies’ resolve to secure Nigeria’s territorial integrity, especially the land and maritime borders against trans-border security concerns, Attah said.
The joint border security team is code-named Exercise Swift Response.
The exercise, which began about a week ago, has received appreciable support from the public, such as border community dwellers and other well-meaning Nigerians.
ONSA said the team had made large numbers of seizures and arrests from the four sectors, comprising the Northwest, Northcentral, Southwest and Southsouth zones.
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Attah said: “As at August 26, 33 illegal migrants have been arrested while seizures include 3,560-50 kilogrammes (kg) bags of parboiled foreign rice, 59 bags of NPK fertiliser, 15 vehicles, 12 drums filled with PMS, three engine boats, 65 drums of groundnut oil, four truck, 75 gallons of PMS, 29 motorcycles, 68 gallons of vegetable oil and 70 jerry cans of PMS, among other items.
“The exercise, led by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) as well as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and other security and intelligence agencies, have continued to patrol and secure our border areas.
“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, armed banditry, among a host of other concerns.
“This is consistent with the constitutional responsibility of any well-meaning government. We, therefore, continue to seek the support of all and sundry, to ensure that the desired objectives of Exercise Swift Response are achieved to promote a secured, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.”
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